13 Executive changes at Nissan North America

Nissan logo.

Steve’s breakdown: . . . and most of them have “marketing” in the title. Probably worth looking into.

FRANKLIN, TN: Nissan today announced a series of senior management appointments in North America intended to strengthen the company’s progress towards its “Power 88” mid-term business plan goals.

In North America, the company has made strong progress on improving its operating profit through a steady stream of well-received new product launches. These new products have led to consistent growth in Nissan’s car, crossover and SUV sales and have helped the company gain market share in the U.S. in seven of the last eight years.

Today’s changes will strengthen the execution of the company’s Nissan Division U.S. teams and place more focus on trucks and light commercial vehicles, which are key opportunity areas for Nissan with the launch of the all-new TITAN XD and other truck products.

“Today, we’re announcing changes to our North American leadership team that will strengthen our execution of our business fundamentals as we head into the final 16 months of the ‘Power 88’ mid-term business plan,” said José Muñoz, executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and chairman, Nissan North America (NNA). “We are now poised to capitalize on the significant investments we have made in our trucks with the launch of the all-new Nissan Titan, and these changes will support our ability to do so.”

All changes are effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Christian Meunier, currently president, Nissan Canada, Inc., is appointed senior vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations, NNA. Meunier will also hold the title of chairman, Nissan Canada. In his new role, Meunier will lead the operations of the Nissan Division in both the U.S. and Canada, including all sales, marketing communications, model line brand management, parts and service, product planning, trucks and light commercial vehicles, customer quality and dealer network development functions.

Over the last three years, Meunier has led the Nissan Canada team to record volume and market share through effective marketing programs and a strengthening of the dealer network. He will report to Muñoz.

“Nissan’s business in Canada has improved substantially under Christian’s watch and is delivering consistent performance improvements,” said Muñoz. “We look forward to Christian’s leadership of Nissan Division’s business in the U.S. and Canada.”

Fred Diaz, currently senior vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations U.S., NNA, is named to the position of division vice president and general manager, North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles, NNA, with responsibility for trucks and light commercial vehicles across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In this newly formed role, Diaz will use his extensive truck experience to focus on building a holistic business strategy for Nissan’s commercial vehicles across the North American region.

During his tenure leading Nissan Division in the U.S., Diaz helped strengthen the division’s focus on trucks and commercial vehicles and provided important guidance for the launch of the all-new TITAN XD full-size pick-up truck. In his new role, Diaz will report to Meunier.

Judy Wheeler, currently vice president, Nissan Southeast Region, NNA, is named vice president, Sales, Nissan Division U.S. with responsibility for leading the Nissan Division sales operations, vehicle operations and fleet functions. Wheeler will be based in Franklin and report to Meunier. She will be accountable for all facets of Nissan’s U.S. domestic sales activities including sales policies, objectives and initiatives with a focus on increasing revenue and profit generation for the Nissan brand and dealer network.

Dan Mohnke is appointed vice president, Nissan Chief Marketing Manager (CMM) & Marketing Operations, Nissan Division U.S., with responsibility for leading the marketing operations teams, including pricing, incentives and marketing analytics for Nissan in the U.S.

“I’d like to thank Dan for his strong leadership of the Nissan Division sales organization during a transitionary period,” said Muñoz.

Billy Hayes will return to Nissan as vice president, Nissan Southeast Region, NNA, and will be based in Atlanta. Most recently, Hayes was vice president, Distribution and Accessories at Southeast Toyota Distributors and, before that, had a 10-year career at Nissan in market representation, dealer operations, customer satisfaction and human resources. When he left Nissan in July 2014, Hayes was vice president, Global Sales and Marketing & Program Director, Zero Emission Vehicles for Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Michael Bunce, currently vice president, Light Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Nissan North America, is appointed vice president, Product Planning, NNA. In this role, Bunce will report to Meunier and will be responsible for advanced and product planning for all Nissan vehicles throughout North America. Bunce’s previous light commercial vehicle responsibilities will now be managed as part of Diaz’s new role.

David Kershaw, currently director, Dealer Network Strategy, Sales & Marketing, is promoted to vice president, Dealer Network Development, NNA and will report to Meunier. In this position, he will be responsible for all activities related to dealer network development in the U.S. for Nissan Division.

Tim Gilbert, currently director, Dealer Network Development, NNA, is named director, Dealer Network Strategy, NNA and will report to Kershaw. In his new role, Gilbert will be responsible for overall dealer network development department strategy and coordination within the U.S. while also leading dealer network development personnel in a majority of Nissan’s U.S. regions.

Eric Rogers, currently general manager, dealer network development, NNA, is named director, dealer network development, NNA and will report to Kershaw. Rogers’ role will be focused on leading dealer network development personnel in two of Nissan’s U.S. regions along with budget coordination for the dealer network development function.

Joni Paiva, currently director, CMM, Versa/Sentra/Juke, is named president, Nissan Canada. In his new role, Joni will have day-to-day responsibility for all Nissan operations in Canada, including sales and marketing, finance, dealer network, product and corporate planning, aftersales, legal, human resources and the captive sales finance company. Paiva will report to Meunier in his new role as chairman, Nissan Canada. Paiva’s replacement will be the subject of a later announcement.

Stephen Lester, managing director, Infiniti Canada, will now report directly to Randy Parker, vice president, Infiniti Americas, for all Infiniti Canada business.

Leon Dorssers, currently vice president, Dealer Network Development, NNA, is promoted to corporate vice president, Dealer Network Development at Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and will report to Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president, Global Marketing and Sales, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Leon will assume the global responsibilities of strengthening the dealer network development in each region, identifying new retail opportunities and sharing best practices of customer experience network across Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun.

“I’d like to thank Leon for his transformation of our dealer network activities in North America and the many successes that have positively influenced the Nissan and Infiniti dealer networks,” said Muñoz.

Pierre Loing, currently vice president, Product Planning, NNA, is named division general manager, Lifecycle Management, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. He will report to Schillaci in Japan and will oversee the Global Lifecycle Management function.

“Pierre has made key contributions to the development of Nissan’s successful core model strategy,” said Muñoz. “His leadership on plotting a future model plan for Nissan and Infiniti products throughout North America has set our company up for success in the coming years, and we wish him continued success in Japan.”

About Nissan North America

In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the U.S. media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.

About Nissan Motor Co.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 247,500 employees globally, Nissan sold 5.32 million vehicles and generated revenue of 11.38 trillion yen (USD 103.6 billion) in fiscal year 2014. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. Nissan leads the world in zero-emission mobility, dominated by sales of the LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle. It is the best-selling EV in history. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

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