By on June 18, 2020

Nissan’s under the gun, and some near the top of the company reportedly like what they see in the company’s chief operating officer, Ashwani Gupta. So much so, that they’re pushing for a change in roles.

They’d like to see the architect of the brand’s four-year turnaround plan, released last month, don the same hat as CEO Makoto Uchida.

According to sources who spoke with Reuters, high-placed backers of Gupta are applying pressure to Nissan’s board of directors to make the COO a co-CEO. A co-pilot of the strategy he created.

Under Nissan’s new near-term plan, Nissan will streamline its lineup and turn its focus to a few key markets, leaving alliance partner Renault to focus on remaining regions. Each automaker, as well as Mitsubishi, will lean on their respective strengths — both in terms of product and technology. Global Nissan production will decline compared to the heady sales volume seen in advance of the brand’s recent sales plunge.

From Reuters:

Thus far, Nissan Motor Co’s 12-member board has no plan to change the roles of Chief Executive Makoto Uchida or his No. 2 Gupta, the sources told Reuters. But the behind-the-scenes campaign, involving at least half a dozen current and former executives, points to continued tensions at the top of the Japanese automaker, which has had four CEOs in four years.

The sources, all of whom have ties to Nissan’s leadership team, declined to be identified because they aren’t authorised to speak to reporters and because of the sensitivity of the topic.

Apparently, some even want Gupta to replace Uchida, who only took on the role late last year. One Nissan executive told Reuters that, while Gupta’s backers have made their feelings clear to the company’s board, they don’t want to push the issue too hard.

In response to the outlet’s probing, Nissan stated it has “no plans or consideration for any change in the management structure at Nissan, and no change to the close collaborative working relationship between Mr. Uchida and Mr. Gupta in their current roles.”

[Image: Nissan]

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