No Replacement Planned for Ashwani Gupta as COO in Nissan

Nissan Motor Co. has recently made changes to its executive committee, promoting regional managers, including two Frenchmen. This restructure comes as COO Ashwani Gupta departs, and CEO Makoto Uchida seeks to consolidate the automaker’s leadership. Reports suggest that Gupta and Uchida clashed over the future of Nissan’s alliance with Renault.

The following individuals have joined the executive committee as of July 1:

  • Guillaume Cartier, who has been with Nissan since 1995, will represent the Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania regions. He previously served as head of sales operations at Nissan Europe and later joined Mitsubishi Motors after the carmaker was added to the alliance.
  • Jeremie Papin, currently chair of the Americas, started at Nissan as a financial adviser for the Renault-Nissan joint venture in Amsterdam. He has been instrumental in corporate strategy and business development at Renault and has held positions such as vice chair of the management committee and CFO of Nissan North America.
  • Shohei Yamazaki, who joined Nissan in 1992 and is currently leading operations in China. He has held various roles within the company, including vice president of Alliance Global and senior general manager at Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Co.
  • Ivan Espinosa, currently senior vice president for global product planning and global program management, will now also oversee global motorsports.

Nissan stated that these changes aim to create a more agile leadership structure and strengthen regional and functional leadership. The COO position previously held by Gupta will not be filled, as his responsibilities will be distributed among other executives.

Hideyuki Sakamoto, head of manufacturing and supply chain management, will take on purchasing responsibilities, while CFO Stephen Ma will oversee operations performance.

Reports suggest that Gupta’s departure resulted from clashes with Uchida regarding the partnership between Nissan and Renault. Gupta opposed Renault’s efforts to license jointly developed technologies and secure Nissan’s commitment to invest in its electric vehicle subsidiary.

Renault’s management is optimistic that Gupta’s departure will expedite efforts to rebalance the alliance between the two automakers. Negotiations are underway, and a final agreement is expected by the end of the summer, according to Bloomberg sources.

Additionally, Nissan is conducting an investigation into allegations that Uchida conducted surveillance on Gupta, as reported by Reuters.

Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report

 

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