By on November 4, 2013


Carlos Ghosn has shuffled Nissan Motor Co.’s top management, elevating Jose Munoz to head the company in North America, while eliminating the Chief Operating Officer position in the home office. COO Toshiyuki Shiga is becoming vice chairman and the responsibilities of his former job will be split between Hiroto Saikawa, Andy Palmer and Trevor Mann.


Saikawa remains chief competitive officer but will take the reins of the operations committee as well as oversee Nissan’s operations in China. The moves effectively make Saikawa the number 2 executive at the company. Palmer, who currently heads global product planning and marketing will become the chief planning officer and be in charge of global sales, product planning, communications,marketing as well as supervising Nissan’s electric vehicle and battery operations. Mann, currently executive VP in charge of Africa, Europe, Middle East and India, will become chief performance officer and be responsible for all regional units as well as run the low cost Datsun brand globally.

Munoz replaces Colin Dodge, who remains on Nissan’s board of directors and will handle special projects reporting directly to Ghosn.

Nissan is also changing its global organization.  Currently there are three regions: the Americas, Europe-Africa-India-Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Going forward, there will be six: North America, Latin America, Japan-Southeast Asia, China, Europe and an Africa-India-Middle East unit. Munoz will be in charge of North America. Jose Valls, currently president of Nissan in Mexico, will head Latin America. Saikawa will be in charge of China. Takao Katagiri, now the head of global sales, will be in charge of Japan and Southeast Asia.

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5 Comments on “Nissan Shuffles Executive Deck, Changes Global Organizaton. Ghosn Going Nowhere...”

  • avatar

    Nissan is a second tier Japanese brand – even if it is the #3 Japanese brand in US sales. Consequently, “pre-owned” Nissans don’t have as high of a resale value as a Honda or Toyota of the same age.

    I like the “pre-owned” euphemism – which applies to former rental units as well.

    Memo to Nissan: The Koreans have up’d their game. Take a look over your shoulder.

  • avatar


  • avatar
    James Courteau

    I’m inclined to disagree. I cross shopped the Honda Fit against the ’12 Versa hatch, and I picked the Nissan. The Versa manages to be a comfortable place to be, has a pretty good stereo, goes like a stuck pig (six speed manual/1.8 twincam). It’ll do 40mpg if I drive easy or 31mpg if I drive balls-to-the-walls. The Fit on the other hand seemed more like a punchline than a car. The seats are cool, sure, but it still seemed cheap and flimsy, and cost $1,500 more than the Versa.

    On the flip side, I had a previous generation Sentra as a rental, it was “meh”.

  • avatar

    I can’t imagine any scenario that has Ghosn leaving voluntarily. The whole problem is having any “heir apparents” left. The guy that will take over from Ghosn probably was just hired!

  • avatar

    Ghosn is expanding regions from three to six? That’s the opposite of what GM is doing, reducing regions to a couple “global” positions. Could that be Ghosn’s secret to success – find out what GM is doing, and do the opposite?

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