Poore, 47, will step down as vice president of Infiniti Americas to pursue a business interest outside of the auto industry, the Hong Kong-based company revealed last night. He will remain on the Infiniti board until the end of September.
Bartsch, 54 and a native of Australia with dual Australian-German citizenship, has been COO and executive vice president of Porsche Cars North America since 2005. He had been scheduled to become CEO of Porsche Cars Australia on Sept. 1. In May, Porsche said Joe Lawrence would succeed Bartsch as COO.
The executive change is the latest in a global sweep of new faces and new roles put in place by Johan de Nysschen, the former Audi of America chief who has led Infiniti worldwide for the past year.
Earlier in the week, de Nysschen named Vincent Gillet, a former executive at the Starwood Hotels & Resorts chain, to lead Infiniti's global marketing efforts. And yesterday, Infiniti said Simon Cox, 53, will direct a new design studio in London. Cox has worked at Ford, Peugeot and General Motors among other automakers.
De Nysschen has also created in recent months the position of a dedicated head of Infiniti design, as well as a global chief of Infiniti product planning.
Bartsch will take on the task of running the luxury brand's sales effort throughout the Americas at a time when de Nysschen is pulling Infiniti further away from its parent company, Nissan Motor Co.
De Nysschen wants the brand to operate as a distinct business from Nissan in hopes of freeing up more unique products and resources around the world.
But Poore's U.S. operations have been the cornerstone of Infiniti's business since he stepped into the lead U.S. role of vice president in 2008. Poore, formerly group marketing manager for Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln Mercury division, has helped mold Infiniti's Japanese-luxury identity into a European-leaning rival of Audi.
But the past two years have been a sales challenge. Despite being overshadowed in the market by the furious competition between its bigger luxury competitors, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Infiniti pulled off a 22 percent sales increase last year, or 119,877 vehicles.
But since then, Infiniti sales have sagged as its volume leader, the G37, wound down to be replaced this summer.
Through the end of July, Infiniti sold 59,995 vehicles, down 9 percent from the first seven months of 2012.
Porsche sales for the seven months rose 31 percent to 25,129 vehicles.