Tavares succeed Patrick Pelata as COO of Renault in 2011 but left in 2013 (Photo; Renault)

Carlos Tavares will become CEO of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen sometime in 2014, the struggling French carmaker said late Monday.

Tavares will join PSA's management board on January 1 and will succeed Philippe Varin in the course of the year.

PSA said the company had conducted an extensive search for a successor and had concluded that Tavares, a former top Renault executive, was the best man to steer the carmaker out of a prolonged slump. PSA has been hit particularly hard by the decline of car sales in its core European market.

PSA Supervisory board Chairman Thierry Peugeot said the appointment of Tavares will ensure the long-term continuation of the group's strategic recovery plan.

Until August, Tavares, a Portuguese national, held the number 2 position after CEO Carlos Ghosn at PSA competitor Renault. He took over as COO of Renault from Patrick Pelata in 2011.

Tavares left Renault in late August, having expressed dissatisfaction with his role as second in command. Tavares told Bloomberg news that he didn't expect to ever succeed Ghosn and that he would be interested in a CEO position at another carmaker.