TOKYO – Daniele Schillaci, Nissan’s executive vice president for global marketing and sales as well as zero-emissions vehicles, is leaving the company, becoming the latest top lieutenant to exit the Japanese automaker following the arrest and ouster of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.
Schillaci, who joined Nissan in 2015, “has elected to depart the company to pursue an opportunity closer to his native home in Europe,” Nissan announced Tuesday as part of a wider senior management shuffle. He will stay at Nissan until May 15 to help transfer his duties.
His portfolio will be split between Yasuhiro Yamauchi and Asako Hoshino, Nissan said.
Yamauchi, currently Nissan’s chief competitive officer, was appointed to the vacant COO position and will oversee marketing and sales, global electric vehicles and r&d, among other areas.
Hoshino, senior vice president for Japan, is promoted to executive vice president in charge of global marketing and sales as well as electric vehicles, in addition to Japan and global aftersales.
Chief Quality Officer Christian Vandenhende will oversee the management committees for North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. He will also keep his job as the head of quality and customer satisfaction. The wider job changes take effect May 16.
Schillaci’s move is the latest in a series of departures by non-Japanese executives in the wake of Ghosn’s stunning Nov. 19 arrest for alleged financial misconduct.
Jose Munoz, Nissan’s former chief performance officer, resigned in January. Last week, Hyundai announced it had hired him as its global COO and the head of its North American business.
Also in January, Roland Krueger, former president of Nissan's luxury Infiniti brand, left the company to take a position heading up Dyson's upstart automotive unit.
Arun Bajaj, the global head of human relations, left in March. Also out the door are former Mitsubishi COO Trevor Mann and former Mitsubishi head of product strategy Vincent Cobee.
They were both sent from Nissan to Mitsubishi after Nissan took a controlling stake in the smaller Japanese carmaker, bringing it into the Renault-Nissan alliance.
CEO Hiroto Saikawa issued a statement thanking Schillaci and wishing him well.
“Daniele has significantly contributed to Nissan in numerous ways,” Saikawa said, “including expanding our EV business, strengthening key markets and especially his work to develop and promote the platform of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s mid-term vision to deliver more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity to move people to a better world.”
Saikawa credited Schillaci for shepherding the introduction of Nissan’s popular e-Power range-extender hybrid technology and its ProPilot driving assist system.
Schillaci began his career at Renault in 1993, where he spent seven years. He moved to Fiat in 2001 as head of the company’s Alfa Romeo brand before joining Toyota.
Among other changes announced in the management shuffle, Jose Luis Valls, Nissan’s chairman for North America, was appointed to the Executive Committee overseeing operational decisions.