Nissan’s José Muñoz to Take Leave of Absence

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Nissan’s José Muñoz to Take Leave of Absence

Nissan’s José Muñoz to Take Leave of Absence

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TOKYO—One of

Nissan Motor
Co.’s


NSANY 1.87%

most sensible executives, José Muñoz, is taking a go away of absence, the corporate mentioned Saturday, the primary shake-up of most sensible control within the wake of the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Mr. Muñoz oversees the trade technique of Nissan’s seven regional and trade gadgets, and in April took direct oversight of the corporate’s China operations—a key focal point house for the Nissan.

But Mr. Muñoz’s efficiency had come underneath scrutiny from Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa, who has singled out Nissan’s U.S. technique to develop marketplace proportion as a supply of the corporate’s present struggles with profitability.

Mr. Muñoz’s long term at Nissan has been in query within the wake of Mr. Ghosn’s arrest on Nov. 19. Mr. Muñoz was once a detailed best friend of Mr. Ghosn and have been regarded as a possible successor to Mr. Saikawa.

Mr. Muñoz is taking a go away of absence to lend a hand the corporate on duties “arising from recent events,” a Nissan spokesman mentioned. He didn’t supply further main points. Nissan’s investigation into alleged monetary misdeeds by means of Mr. Ghosn has expanded since Mr. Ghosn’s ouster as chairman at a Nov. 22 board assembly. The staff taking a look into Mr. Ghosn’s movements has grown to come with over 100 other people all over the world, in accordance to Nissan.

Mr. Muñoz was once due to seem on Nissan’s behalf on the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas subsequent week and on the North American International Auto Show in Detroit later this month. He now not will attend both tournament, the Nissan spokesman mentioned.

Mr. Muñoz couldn’t be reached for remark.

Mr. Ghosn had deliberate to change Mr. Saikawa at a board assembly, blaming his handpicked successor for having slashed gross sales within the U.S. whilst failing to jump-start profitability. Some on the corporate noticed Mr. Muñoz as subsequent in line for the CEO place, in accordance to other people aware of the discussions.

But Messrs. Saikawa and Muñoz have been increasingly more at odds following the previous’s appointment as CEO in 2017, in accordance to other people aware of the subject.

Mr. Ghosn driven to develop gross sales quantity to 14 million gadgets around the alliance between Nissan,

Renault
SA

and

Mitsubishi Motor
Corp.

However, Mr. Saikawa mentioned he didn’t need to set gross sales objectives in step with Mr. Ghosn’s plans, pronouncing he most well-liked broader objectives on money float and earnings.

In an interview final 12 months, Mr. Muñoz mentioned Nissan wouldn’t be surroundings numerical objectives however mentioned Mr. Ghosn’s objectives could be hit.

Mr. Muñoz spearheaded a technique in 2011 to build up each world marketplace proportion and working margin to eight% by means of 2017. Nissan fell brief of each objectives, aside from within the U.S., the place a staff led by means of Mr. Muñoz in short hit the market-share goal.

A nuclear engineer by means of coaching, Mr. Muñoz joined Nissan in 1999. He rose to lead Nissan’s operations in his local Spain, prior to turning into head of Nissan’s Mexico operations in 2009. Mr. Muñoz was once tapped to lead Nissan’s North American operation in 2014.

In overdue 2016, Mr. Muñoz was once appointed leader efficiency officer, in rate of making sure the corporate hit expansion objectives.

Write to Sean McLain at [email protected]

Appeared within the January five, 2019, print version as ‘Nissan Executive to Take a Leave.’

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