The executive shuffle at Nissan continues as the automaker attempts to reverse a sales slump in the U.S. and warns it is on track to miss its full-year profit goal, earning less than alliance partner Renault for the first time in a decade.
Former Nissan Mexico President Airton Cousseau will take over U.S. sales and marketing effective July 1, Nissan North America Chairman Jose Valls announced in a letter to dealers Wednesday. The company later announced the moves in a press release.
Valls had been handling sales and marketing responsibilities since assuming the Nissan North America vice chairman job in January.
Since July 2016, Cousseau has served as vice president of Nissan's Chinese affiliate Dongfeng Motor Co. and managing director of Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Co. in China.
Prior to his China stint, Cousseau was president of Nissan Mexico, where the former General Motors and Hyundai Motor executive helped lead Nissan to a 26 percent market share.
On Wednesday, Nissan slashed its preliminary operating profit for the second time to ¥318 billion ($2.8 billion) for the year ended March 31, from ¥450 billion.
Nissan U.S. sales, meanwhile, continue to slide, as the automaker attempts a slow pivot away from high-volume but low-margin fleet sales. The Nissan Division sold 331,536 vehicles in the first quarter, down 12 percent from the same period last year.
"As we move into FY19, I am announcing organizational and personnel changes that support delivering sustainable results and leading the technology and business evolution outlined in the company's 'Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022' midterm plan," Valls said in the letter to dealers obtained by Automotive News. "These changes also are meant to help continue improving dealer trust in an increasingly challenging U.S. market."
In other executive moves:
- Dan Mohnke, senior vice president, Connected Services, Data and Digitalization, adds responsibility for the company's Customer Journey and Vehicle Connected Services teams.
- Billy Hayes is now division vice president of Nissan Sales, where he will oversee sales operations, while maintaining responsibility for the brand's field sales organization.
- Judy Wheeler will take over as division vice president, Dealer Network Development and Customer Quality. Wheeler previously was responsible for the Dealer Network Strategy for Nissan and Infiniti in the U.S. and Canada.
- David Kershaw is regional vice president of the Southeast Region, replacing Eric Ledieu. He was most recently regional vice president of the Northeast Region.
- Fred DePerez is regional vice president of the Northeast Region, replacing Kershaw. He was most recently vice president of the Nissan North America Light Commercial Vehicle business unit.
- Shawn Mirabal is regional vice president of the West Region. Mirabal will also maintain his responsibility for the Northwest Region.
- Dave Mazur, vice president of Customer Quality, has left Nissan.