Tue, Feb 22, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Nissan Motor promotes new operations manager

AFP , TOKYO

Nissan Motor yesterday promoted Japanese employee Toshiyuki Shiga to oversee day-to-day operations after Carlos Ghosn, corporate Japan's breakthrough foreign manager who turned around the fortunes of the nation's number two automaker, leaves his post.

Shiga, currently managing director in charge of foreign market operations, will be promoted after significantly increasing Nissan's sales in China and Southeast Asia.

"He is someone who holds my entire and complete trust," Ghosn told reporters at Nissan headquarters.

Brazilian-born Ghosn took the reins of Nissan in 1999 after France's Renault formed a tie-up with the then ailing No.2 Japanese automaker.

Ghosn led the Japanese firm to recovery, an effort that brought him folk hero status in corporate Japan.

Ghosn will from May serve as chairman and chief executive officer of Renault, which holds some 44 percent of the company. He will remain head of Nissan, guiding company's strategy, but cede day to day operations to Shiga.

The globetrotting, polyglot troubleshooter came to Japan in 1999 as the fortunes of the Japanese automaker were in rapid decline, with billions of dollars in debt, plunging market share and a lackluster product line-up.

In a bold and unprecedented move, Ghosn closed plants, trimmed the workforce and shifted resources to shore up product development.

Nissan earlier this month reported net profit rose 6.9 percent in the December quarter as aggressive launches of new models helped boost sales in Japan and the US.

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