FRANKLIN, Tenn., March 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Nissan Americas today announced a number of senior leadership appointments throughout the company's Americas operations. These changes are intended to further strengthen Nissan Americas' support of the company's 'Power 88' business plan. All changes are effective April 1, 2012.
Jose Munoz, currently president and managing director, Nissan Mexicana, is named senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Latin America and Customer Quality and Dealer Network Development for the Americas. He will be based in Franklin, TN and will report to Bill Krueger, vice chairman, MC-A.
In this newly created role, Munoz will be responsible for the operating performance of the company's Mexican (NMEX), Latin American (NLAC) and Brazilian (NBA) operations and will represent each on the MC-A. In addition to leading the NMEX, NLAC and NBA Sales and Marketing functions, he will also be responsible for the company's Dealer Network Development organization across the Americas. The presidents of NMEX, NLAC and NBA will each report to Munoz.
Munoz joined Nissan in 2004 after a career that included over 10 years of management positions with various other automotive companies in Europe. He began his Nissan career as general manager, Dealer Development for Nissan Europe after which he became the managing director of Nissan Iberia, S.A. In 2009, Munoz took the leadership role of Nissan Mexicana and has led the NMEX organization to achieve not only the highest market share in the history of the operation, but also a 34-month run of Nissan sales leadership in the country. He is also responsible for developing key dealer network initiatives leading to significant improvements across the sales network in Mexico.
Munoz holds a doctoral degree in Nuclear Engineering from Polytechnic University of Madrid and a master's degree in Business Administration from Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid. In addition, he completed other executive management programs from Cranfield School of Management in London and INSEAD Business School in France.
Nissan Mexicana (NMEX)
Jose Luis Valls, currently regional vice president, Commercial Sales, NMEX, is named president and managing director, NMEX, reporting to Munoz. Valls joined Nissan in 2011 after eight years with General Motors, where he held a number of leadership roles across the Latin American region. Earlier in his career, Jose Luis worked with other automotive manufacturers and an advertising agency. He holds a bachelor's degree in Public Accounting from Pontifica Universidad Catolica Santa Maria in Argentina and a master's degree in Management from the University of California-Berkeley.
Carlos Servin, currently director, Finance, NMEX, is appointed regional vice president, Finance, NMEX and NLAC and will have a dual report to Jett Johns, vice president, Finance, Nissan Americas and Munoz. Due to the significant growth in NMEX and NLAC, Servin will be responsible for all finance oversight for NMEX and NLAC and lead finance initiatives for the company's critical expansion activities in the region.
Servin came to Nissan in 2008 and was responsible for setting up the financial control process and governance in NMEX and has played a key role in NMEX market leadership during the last 34 months. His automotive career spans over 20 years with Ford where he served as the global director for Financial Planning of Volvo just before joining Nissan. He holds a bachelor's degree in business from Universidad Iberoamericana and a master's degree in Finance from Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico.
Roberto Delgado, currently assistant director, Manufacturing Finance, NMEX, is named director, Finance, Monozukuri and R&D, NMEX. He will support the Monozukuri and R&D functions and their expansion activities for NMEX. He will report to Servin.
Prior to joining Nissan in 2009, Delgado held finance management positions at Ford Motor Company. He holds a bachelor's degree in International Business and Finance, a master's degree in Finance as well as a post master's diploma in Marketing and Sales from Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico.
Nissan Latin America and Caribbean (NLAC)
Kenneth Ramirez, currently director, NLAC, is promoted to vice president/managing director, NLAC, succeeding Shoichi Miyatani, whose appointment as chief executive officer, Autech Japan and president, NISMO, was the subject of an earlier announcement. Ramirez will report to Munoz.
He began his Nissan career in 2002 joining the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Engineering group at Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA). Since then, he has held positions of increasing responsibilities in various functions across the organization and region. He holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Nissan Brazil (NBA)
Anderson Ramos, currently manager, Logistics, is named director, Logistics. He will have a dual report to Gerardo De La Torre, vice president, Monozukuri, NBA and Mike Steck, vice president, Supply Chain Management, Nissan Americas. Ramos joined Nissan in 2006 and has worked both in Engineering and Logistics in Brazil. Prior to joining Nissan, he worked with two other major manufacturers, Renault and Volkswagen. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master's degree in Business Management from the Federal University of Parana.
Toshiyuki Fujikura, currently director, R&D, NBA, will return to Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (NML) in Japan to take on a new assignment as general manager, Battery Business Unit, Marketing and Sales Group.
Yutaka Saito, currently senior manager, R&D Resource Management, NML, will succeed Fujikura as director, R&D, NBA. He will have a dual report to Futoshi Ooike, vice president, R&D, Latin America (Mexico, LAC and Brazil) and De La Torre. Saito joined Nissan in 1992 and, since then, has held a variety of positions in R&D, Corporate Planning and Marketing and Sales in addition to an assignment in China working for Dong Feng. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Aoyama Gakuin University.
Antoine Doucerain, currently general manager, Maubeuge MCA Plant, Renault in France, is appointed director, Manufacturing Operations, NBA. He will report to Atsuhiko Hayakawa, vice president, Manufacturing, NBA. Doucerain has more than 15 years of diverse manufacturing and logistics experience with Renault. He has been involved with Monozukuri and Douki Seisan processes at Renault. Doucerain graduated with masters' degrees in Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.
Nissan Design Americas (NDA)
Alfonso Albaisa, vice president, Design, Nissan Americas, is appointed design director at NML in Japan. He will report to Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president, Design and Chief Creative Officer, NML. Since Albaisa joined Nissan in 1988, he has held various positions globally. He was on previous assignments in Japan and London. He has also been instrumental in leading design for a number of projects including the Nissan Altima, Maxima, Rogue and Nissan Armada, Quest and Infiniti QX56. He holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial Arts from the Pratt Institute.
Taro Ueda, currently design director, NML, is named vice president, NDA, succeeding Albaisa. He will continue to report to Nakamura. Ueda joined Nissan 1989 as a Design and Brand specialist and, since then, he has grown his career through various Design, Product Planning and R&D management assignments. He holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial Design from Chiba University.
Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC)
James Morton, currently director, Financial Products, NMAC, is named general manager, Sales Finance, at NML. He will report to Rakesh Kochhar, corporate vice president, Treasury and Sales Finance, NML. Morton joined Nissan in 2004 and in 2005 became general manager, Finance, in Nissan Europe. He has held finance leadership positions in Canada and the U.S. and is currently responsible for creating innovative financial programs for NMAC that led to an increase in lease penetration rates and increased market share of the Sales Division. Morton holds a degree in law from the University of South Carolina and a master's degree in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University.
Morton is succeeded by Kevin Chartier, currently director, Remarketing. As director, Financial Services, Chartier will report to Mike McConnell, vice president, Sales, Financial Products and Corporate Planning Office, NMAC. He joined Nissan in 1984 as manager, District Parts Sales for NNA. He then took an executive position for banking solutions at RSA Solutions before returning to Nissan in 2006. Chartier holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Finance, Investment Banking and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin. In addition, he has completed a series of executive training programs from the University of Chicago and University of Virginia.
Kevin Cullum, currently director, Credit Services, is named director, Remarketing, succeeding Chartier. In his new role, Cullum will continue to report to Mark Kaczynski, president, NMAC. He came to Nissan in 2006 as senior manager in Commercial Relations and Special Lending. Prior to joining Nissan, Cullum worked for 17 years at Ford Motor Company where his career progressed through a series of marketing assignments. He holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Business Administration from Central Missouri State University.
Mary Lauwereins, currently director, NMAC Sales, succeeds Cullum as director, Credit Services. In her new position, Lauwereins will report to McConnell. She joined Nissan in 1990 and, since then, has held a series of positions of increasing responsibility in customer satisfaction, market support, dealer support, regional marketing, market representation and planning, distribution and vehicle operations. She holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Washington State University and an MBA from the University of Utah.
Jim DeTrude, currently director, Infiniti CMM, is named director, NMAC Sales, succeeding Lauwereins. In his new position, DeTrude will report to McConnell. He began his Nissan career in 1987 and has taken on increasing responsibilities in Sales, Market Representation, Dealer Operations, Advertising, Marketing and Model Line. He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Dayton.
Infiniti Business Unit
Nathaniel Mason, currently director, Customer Care, Parts and Service Accessory Development, is named director, Infiniti CMM, succeeding DeTrude. In his new role, Mason will report to Ben Poore, vice president, Infiniti Business Unit. He joined Nissan in 2007 and has taken on increasing responsibilities in Product Planning, SV Programs, Profitability, Accessory Development, Logistics and Sales. He holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology as well as another in Business Economics from Brown University. In addition, he has a master's degree in Marketing and Finance from the University of Michigan.
Corporate Planning and Program Management Office (PMO)
Catherine Perez, currently vice president, Corporate Planning and PMO, will return to Japan to assume the role of program director, V-Platform, and will be reporting to Andy Palmer, executive vice president, Global Product Planning, Global Program Management, Global Marketing Communications and Global Corporate Planning. Perez's career began with Nissan's Alliance partner, Renault, in 1995 and, since 2000, she has worked for both Nissan and Renault in various executive roles in the Renault-Nissan Purchasing Organization. She holds a bachelor's degree in Strategy and Marketing from Ecole de Management de Lyon French Business School and a master's degree in Business Administration from York University Toronto.
Hiroshi Toyoshima, currently director, Overseas Program, is promoted to vice president, Corporate Planning/PMO succeeding Perez. He will report to Scott Becker, senior vice president, Administration and Finance, Nissan Americas. Toyoshima began his Nissan career in 1991 when he first worked on Design and Brand. He then spent six years in research and development before moving into Corporate Planning in 2002. Since then, he has held various managerial positions within the function. Toyoshima holds a bachelor's degree in Information Processing Systems from Seikei University.
Marketing and Sales
Billy Hayes, currently director, Customer and Sales Satisfaction, is promoted to a global role at NML as divisional general manager, Global Sales Operations. He will report to Takao Katagiri, executive vice president, Global Sales, NML. Since joining Nissan in 2004, Hayes has held positions of increasing responsibility in Market Representation, Dealer Operations, Customer Satisfaction and Human Resources. He holds a bachelor's degree in Engineering from Bates College as well as a bachelor's degree in Engineering and a master's in Business from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Research and Development (R&D)
Dana Hargitt, currently director, Supplier Quality Assurance, is named vice president, Components Engineering, NTCNA, succeeding Bob Sump who has elected to retire. He will report to Carla Bailo, senior vice president, Research and Development, Nissan Americas. Hargitt joined Nissan in 2010. Earlier in his career, he held executive and managerial positions at Toyota. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University.
Manabu Sato, director, Technology Planning, will return to NML in Japan to take on a new assignment as general manager, Technology Planning Department. Succeeding Sato will be Kenichi Egawa, who is currently manager, Electronics Engineering Development Division, IT and ITS Engineering Department, ITS Advanced and Product Engineering Group, NML-NTC. In his new role, he will report to Bailo. Egawa joined Nissan in 1990. He holds a bachelor's degree in Applied Electrical Engineering from Keio University in Japan.
Aichi Akashi, director, Body Engineering, will return to NML to take on a new assignment as chief vehicle engineer (CVE), Nissan PV Product Development No.2. Shinichi Serino will succeed Akashi as director, Body Engineering. Serino will report to Takeshi Yamaguchi, vice president, Vehicle Engineering and VPM. He joined Nissan in 1990. His past responsibilities include an earlier assignment with NTCNA, working with Body Design for Body on Frame and D-Platform. Serino holds a bachelor's degree in Naval Architecture from Kyushu University in Japan.
Linda Fox, currently senior manager, Electrical and Electronics, NTCNA, is named director, Electrical Engineering - Audio/IT. In her new role, she will report to Dana Hargitt. Prior to joining Nissan in 2010, Fox spent her earlier career with Ford, Visteon and General Motors where she has held a variety of management positions in Engineering, Manufacturing and Program Management. She holds bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a master's degree in Manufacturing Systems from the Lawrence Technological Institute as well as a master's degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University.
Steve Monk, currently director, Vehicle Evaluation and Testing at Arizona Testing Center (ATC), will retain his dual role as chief marketability engineer (CME) for the Americas and will now report directly to Jerry Hardcastle, general manager, Global Marketability. Monk will continue in his current role, responsible for Vehicle Evaluation and Testing (ATC) reporting to Takeshi Yamaguchi, whose appointment as vice president NTCNA, was the subject of an earlier announcement succeeding Teruo Takahashi. Monk joined Nissan in 1990 and, since then, has held positions of increasing responsibilities in the R&D organization. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Tomohiro Aoki, currently senior manager, Powertrain Quality, Powertrain Planning Department, NML, will join NNA as director, Total Customer Satisfaction (TCS) reporting to Brad Thacker, vice president, TCS. In his new role, Aoki will be located in Smyrna and will work with Nissan's R&D and manufacturing organizations to improve total customer satisfaction. He joined Nissan in 1993 and began his R&D career with the Transmission Development Department. Since then, he has held a variety of positions with the R&D organization mostly in the Powertrain Department. Aoki holds a master's degree in Precision Machinery from Chuo University in Japan.
Purchasing and Renault Nissan Purchasing Organization (RNPO)
Vincent Valdmann, currently director, Vehicle Purchasing, RNPO, is named director, Supplier Quality Assurance, succeeding Hargitt. In his new role, Valdmann will continue to report to Rebecca Vest, vice president, Purchasing, RNPO and Nissan Americas. Prior to his arrival at Nissan in 2008 as director, Powertrain, Valdmann's 15-year automotive career included management positions at Renault. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Centre d'Etudes Superieures des Techniques Industrielles, a master's degree in Industrial Operations from Lyon Business School as well as another master's in Powertrain Engineering from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Petroles et Moteurs.
Rob Pitt, currently general manager, RNPO, based in NTC-Europe, is named director, Vehicle Purchasing, RNPO. Pitt will report to Rebecca Vest, vice president, Purchasing, RNPO and Nissan Americas. He joined Nissan in 1994 and, since then, has taken positions of increasing responsibilities in the Purchasing organization. He holds a bachelor's degree in Business Studies, Law, Economics and Marketing from the University of Sunderland.
Supply Chain Management (SCM)
Effective Jul. 1st, Heath Holtz, currently director, Logistics, will take a leadership role in the Global Supply Chain Management (SCM) Department at NML. He will report to Yasuyuki Andoh, divisional general manager Global SCM. Holtz's Nissan career began in Vehicle Operations and, since then, he has held senior management positions in vehicle logistics and production purchasing. He holds a bachelor's degree from the US Air Force Academy and a master's degree in Operations Research from Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition, he also earned a master's in Engineering Systems as well as a master's in Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chris Styles, currently director of Logistics, After Sales and Service Parts Purchasing, NMEX, is named director of Logistics, NNA, succeeding Holtz. In his new role, Styles will report to Steck. He joined Nissan in 2002 and has held a variety of positions in Purchasing and Logistics in addition to his most recent assignment in Mexico. Styles holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.
About Nissan Americas
In the Americas, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second largest automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4 million vehicles in 2010. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award and 2011 World Car of the Year.