Nissan Announces Departure of Chief Operating Officer Once CEO Candidate

The Japanese group, Nissan Motor, announced today that its Chief Operating Officer, Ashwani Gupta, will leave the company at the end of this month, after having helped drive a turnaround plan aimed at streamlining operations.

In a statement, the company said it will announce a new CEO on June 27. The company said last month that Gupta's contract would end on June 27, which raised doubts as he was one of the candidates for the CEO position.

Gupta's allies lobbied the board of directors in 2020 to promote him to the position of co-CEO, in the hope that he would advance Nissan's turnaround and boost its alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, but the promotion did not materialize.

Gupta, who worked for many years at Renault, joined the company's leadership team at the end of 2019, when Japan's third-largest automaker was trying to end a period of turmoil triggered by the arrest and resignation of longtime leader Carlos Ghosn.

Gupta clashed with Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida over Uchida's desire to wrap up negotiations with Renault quickly, with Gupta urging more caution over the terms of the deal, sources close to the matter revealed.

The company said on Friday that Gupta took on key leadership positions and was a "driving force" in various alliance projects over several years, resulting in many achievements. The company gave no further details of the achievements.

Gupta joined Renault in India in 2006 and later became vice president in charge of its global commercial vehicle business, a position he held until 2019, when he moved to junior alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors.

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