NASHVILLE -- Nissan North America Inc. product planning chief Larry Dominique, who has been influential in Nissan- and Infiniti-brand product creation for the past decade, has left the company.
Dominique disclosed his departure internally at Nissan North America last Thursday, telling colleagues that he had accepted a position in the auto industry, but not with a competing automaker.
Nissan North America spokesman David Reuter confirmed that Dominique has left the company. He declined to provide additional details. Efforts to reach Dominique on Friday were unsuccessful.
A native Detroiter and third-generation auto industry employee, Dominique, 49, joined Nissan in 1989 after starting his career in engineering with General Motors and Chrysler Corp.
He participated in Nissan's creation of a Michigan vehicle and parts engineering center in the 1990s, and most recently served as vice president of product planning, responsible for Nissan and Infiniti product lines in the United States and all markets across the Americas region.
A decade ago, Dominique managed the development of the Nissan Titan pickup and Armada SUV and the Infiniti QX56 to help launch the brands into full-size light-truck segments.
The management change comes at a delicate moment for Nissan and Infiniti, as both brands are on new-product offensives -- much of it influenced by Dominique.
Nissan is on the threshold of a two-year makeover of most of its existing U.S. product line, with a redesigned Sentra, Altima, Pathfinder, Titan and Versa hatchback coming over the next several months. Similarly, Infiniti is planning three all-new products for the U.S. market: a luxury electric car using the same technology as the Nissan Leaf, a three-row crossover, and a small competitor to the BMW 1-series.
Reuter said there is no announcement yet of a replacement for Dominique.
Separately, Nissan said earlier Friday that Steve Lambert, president of Nissan Motors Acceptance Corp., has been named vice president of information systems, effective Dec. 1.
He replaces Linda Goodspeed, who has left Nissan to become chief information officer of ServiceMaster Co.
Lambert, 50, will be replaced by Mark Kaczynski, 43, who is currently controller for sales and marketing.