TOKYO -- Andy Palmer, the car-guy chief planning officer at Nissan Motor Corp., who was once tipped as a possible future CEO, is leaving the company to head UK sports car maker Aston Martin.
Nissan has tapped Renault Executive Vice President Philippe Klein, 57, to fill Palmer’s spot as chief planning officer and a member of the board. He will report to Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and oversee global product planning, marketing, sales and zero-emissions vehicles.
Aston Martin said in a statement today that Palmer's duties at the carmaker will start after he completes a transition period from Nissan. Palmer's background and experience, including leadership of Nissan's luxury Infiniti brand, will be "instrumental in taking Aston Martin forward," the statement said.
Aston Martin has been without a CEO since Ulrich Bez stepped down after turning 70 last November. Palmer's arrival at Aston Martin may signal a turning point for the carmaker, as it purchases engines from Daimler and regularly explores deeper cooperation with the German carmaker.
In his Nissan role, Palmer, 51, led Infiniti's cooperation with Daimler, which holds small stakes in Aston Martin as well as Renault and its Japanese alliance partner.