David Woodhouse, the design executive who left Ford Motor Co. after 20 years last week, is joining Nissan Group.
Woodhouse, 50, will become vice president of Nissan Design America in San Diego on July 1, Nissan said Wednesday. He will lead Nissan and Infiniti design activities in North America and report to Nissan's global design chief, Alfonso Albaisa. Woodhouse will also be on the Global Nissan Design Management Committee.
Luring a senior executive from a rival automaker marks a reversal for Nissan. The company has been coping with a talent drain, with executives in Asia and North America departing in the wake of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn's arrest late last year.
High-profile executives who have left the company include Randy Parker, Nissan division general manager; Jose Munoz, Nissan's former head of global performance; and Infiniti President Christian Meunier.
Nissan, which is battling a decline in U.S. sales, expects to freshen 70 percent of its lineup in the next few years.