Nissan names Paul Willcox as new chief of Europe, Takashi Hata new boss in Africa-Middle East-India

Article by Anita Panait, on December 23, 2013

Nissan has appointed Paul Willcox as the new chief of Europe and Takashi Hata as new boss of its operations in Africa-Middle East-India, filling vacancies resulting from a Nov. 1, 2013 management shuffle implemented by chief executive Carlos Ghosn to address what he called as “soft” performance.

Willcox was Nissan’s head of sales and marketing for Europe until September when he departed the Japanese carmaker to lead Volkswagen Group’s operations in the United Kingdom.

He is now coming back to Nissan, taking over the post vacated by Trevor Mann, who was promoted as Nissan’s global chief performance officer with oversight of all regional businesses.  Nissan recruited Takashi Hata from affiliated transmission maker Jatco Ltd.  He will join Nissan on Feb. 1, 2014.

Ghosn chose Hata to be president of Jatco in 2011 as part of a bid to internationalize Nissan’s affiliate. This year, Ghosn called out Jatco for quality issues that have affected the Japanese carmaker’s profits in North America.

On the other hand, Jatco disclosed that Teruaki Nakatsuka will join Jatco on Feb. 1, 2014 as an adviser and will become CEO in June, following approval at a shareholders meeting.

Nakatsuka joins Nissan from General Electric Aviation, where he is currently general manager for North Asia. Nissan also named Jun Seki as president of Dongfeng Motor Co., Nissan's joint venture in China with Dong Feng Group, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

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