Mann, who will remain Nissan's head of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India, is one of three executives who will take on added responsibility as Ghosn's No. 2, Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga, 60, moves to vice chairman in charge of external affairs and corporate governance.
Shiga's COO position will be abolished and be replaced by:
- Mann, 52, who will be in charge of performance, global head of Datsun, as well as chief of the light commercial vehicle and the global aftersales business unit;
- Andy Palmer, 50, the current head of global product planning and marketing, who will become chief planning officer, leading global sales, product planning, communications and marketing. He will also oversee Nissan's electric vehicle and battery business;
- Hiroto Saikawa, 60, who keeps his title of chief competitive officer but will now head the company's operations committee, making him the de facto No. 2 after Ghosn, Nissan spokesman Jeff Kuhlman said. Saikawa will also oversee China.
All three executives report to Ghosn.
The executive reassignments are similar to what Ghosn did at Renault, where he's also CEO. In September, Ghosn dropped the COO position at the French company after Carlos Tavares left the company. Ghosn promoted internal executives to two newly created positions. Thierry Bollore, 50, is chief competitive officer and Jerome Stoll, 59, is chief performance officer.
Nissan's regional responsibilities are also being reorganized. Currently the globe is divided into three regions: The Americas, Europe-Africa-India-Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. It will be six: North America, Latin America, Japan-Southeast Asia, China, Europe and an Africa-India-Middle East unit.
Nissan plans to initially name four of the six regional chiefs. Jose Munoz, 48, is its new chief of North America. He replaces Colin Dodge, 58, currently executive vice president, who will take on a new role managing special projects and also report directly to Ghosn. Jose Valls, currently president of Nissan business in Mexico, will take over Latin America.
The role changes for Shiga, Palmer and Saikawa take effect immediately. The new responsibilities for Dodge, Mann, Munoz, Valls and the other regional heads take effect Jan. 1.
Nissan will announce further appointments for Europe, Africa, Middle East and India in the coming weeks, it said.
Struggling to meet targets
Nissan has been struggling to achieve Ghosn's operating profit margin target of 8 percent by the year ending March 2017.
Nissan now expects to sell 5.2 million vehicles in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, compared with an earlier goal of 5.3 million, Kuhlman said. That is up from 4.914 million vehicles in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013.
Operating profit is now forecast at 600 billion yen (4.62 billion euros), down from an earlier target of 700 billion yen, Kuhlman said. Both forecasts would beat Nissan's operating profit of 523.5 billion yen in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013.
The company expects to post net income of 355 billion yen (2.72 billion euros) in the fiscal year. Profit is still projected to rise from the previous year as the weaker yen helps bolster earnings.
The management changes and earnings shortfall come amid slowing sales in some emerging markets and a recall of vehicles that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates will cost the company about 15 billion yen, weighing down the company's quarterly profit.
Nissan said on Sept. 26 it would recall 910,000 vehicles globally, including the Serena minivan and X-Trail SUV, over an accelerator glitch.
Hans Greimel, Douglas A. Bolduc, Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report