Nissan appoints head of global brand marketing

Nissan has handed global brand responsibility to its communications chief Simon Sproule following the departure of Steve Wilhite, former Nissan vice-president of global marketing, last year.

Wilhite left the company to join Hyundai Motor North America as chief operating officer in August (MW August 10, 2006).

A Nissan spokesman says he will not be directly replaced but confirms that Sproule is now in charge of the company’s overall marketing direction.

It is not known whether Sproule’s title of head of global corporate communications will change to reflect his new role but it is understood that he will work closely with Nissan chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura.

Wilhite joined Nissan North America in 2001 as vice-president of marketing following a short stint at Apple.

Prior to that, he spent nine years at Volkswagen of America, where he played a major part in its turnaround during the mid-1990s.

Managing director of Nissan Motor Company (GB) Bill Bosley left in March last year to take up a senior marketing position in the US as part of a wider management restructure at the company (MW March 16, 2006).

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 2005.

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

It is understood that Wilcox will work with Sproule but will not report to him.

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