Nissan seeks global marketing boss

Nissan’s global marketing chief Steve Wilhite has left to join Hyundai Motor America as chief operating officer.

Wilhite, who was at Nissan for five years, starts at Hyundai next week where he will take responsibility for sales and marketing, communications and strategic development.

Wilhite, who as vice-president of global marketing at Nissan was based in Japan, says he is “thrilled with the opportunity to return to Southern California to help lead the continued development and growing success of Hyundai”.

He joined Nissan North America in 2001 as vice-president of marketing following a short stint at Apple. Prior to that, Wilhite spent nine years at Volkswagen of America, where he played a major part in its turnaround during the mid-1990s.

A spokesman for Nissan says the company is now searching for a replacement.

Managing director of Nissan Motor Company (GB), Bill Bosley, left in March to take up a senior marketing position in the US as part of a wider management restructure at the company (MW March 16).

Bosley, who was replaced by Gary Frigo, was made vice-president and general manager of the Nissan division at Nissan North America, with responsibility for sales and marketing. The restructure at Nissan followed the appointment of a UK marketing director at the end of last year.

Justin Elias, who was previously marketing director of Renault Asia-Pacific, replaced Paul Wilcox, following the latter’s promotion to vice-president of marketing for Nissan Europe.

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