TOKYO - Minoru Nakamura, president and CEO of Nissan North America Inc., is retiring from Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. to become president of Nissan Car Leasing Co. in Japan.
Nobuo Araki, 55, president of Nissan Mexicana SA de C.V., will replace Nakamura, 57.
The change comes in a bid to streamline decision making at the Japanese carmaker under the new control of France's Renault SA. Nissan has cut its board of directors from 37 to 10 and created a new roster of 30 executives to run the business.
For the first time, Nissan's corporate officers will include a non-Japanese: Ian Gibson, president of Nissan Europe NV, who will be a senior vice president.
The sweeping changes arise from an annual boardroom shuffle that contained numerous other promotions and retirements, including the departure of Nissan Chairman Yoshifumi Tsuji and CFO Tadahiro Shirai.
In all, four of six executive vice presidents, six of 13 managing directors and seven of 16 directors will retire. All changes are effective with the Nissan shareholders meeting, expected to be June 25.
As announced, three former Renault executives will be among the 10 board members: Carlos Ghosn, Patrick Pelata and Thierry Moulonguet. They will be Nissan's COO, executive vice president for products and planning, and senior vice president and deputy CFO, respectively.
Renault also has sent its corporate finance director, Alain Dassas, to become a part-time board member at Nissan Diesel Motor Co.
Renault paid $5.4 billion to buy 36.8 percent of Nissan and 22.5 percent of Nissan Diesel Motor Co. in late March. By Japanese law, Renault's three board members now have veto rights over all Nissan board decisions.
Under the new structure, current President Yoshikazu Hanawa will be chairman, president, and CEO.
The other board members will be Hiroshi Moriyama, Nobuo Ohkubo, Hisayoshi Kojima, Kanemitsu Anranku, Itaru Koeda, and Norio Matsumura.