"I can confirm the next CEO has not yet been chosen. The only indication I can give you is that I wish it is a professional of the car industry because amid the radical transformation of the sector, one needs professionals," Le Maire told BFM television.
The French carmaker, chaired by Jean-Dominique Senard, a former executive at tire maker Michelin who was parachuted in following the Carlos Ghosn scandal, is expected to choose a new CEO by the end of the year so that the group can try and fully refocus on its operations.
The French state has a 15% stake in Renault.
Renault's interim chief executive Clotilde Delbos has applied to take the job on a permanent basis, two sources familiar with the matter have said, as the carmaker edges toward a shortlist likely to also feature several external candidates.
One of the sources had said that Patrick Koller, the Franco-German CEO of car parts maker Faurecia , and Luca de Meo, the Italian boss of Volkswagen-owned SEAT, also ticked many of the boxes for recruiters, including that they both spoke French.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Susan Fenton)