Kanrun, Nissan’s deputy chief operating officer, said yesterday that he had decided to leave The Day to join Nidec Corp, a Kyoto-based maker of auto parts and precision motors, as president until January 2020,media reported. Guanrun is a veteran of Nissan Motor Co., who has worked for Nissan for more than 30 years, served as Chairman of Nissan China Management Committee, President of Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd., and was promoted to Senior Vice President of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors Alliance in March 2018, responsible for production process and process management.
In September, Mr. Nishikawa, Nissan’s former chief executive, was one of the favourites to be Nissan’s next chief executive, but Renault voted for Mr. Naita, who is closer to Renault. Mr Kwan officially became deputy chief operating officer on December 1 this year, reporting to Ashwani Gupta, also chief operating officer of Renault.
Since two of the three people at the top of Nissan’s management pyramid were Renault’s representatives, there were media reports that the appointment of Nissan’s new management was a “victory for Renault.”
Regarding his resignation, Mr Guan denied that he had not been given the post of chief executive, saying only: “I love Nissan very much, but I’m sorry I didn’t finish the company’s performance recovery, but I’m 58 years old this year, and I really can’t refuse this opportunity.” This may be my last chance to lead a company. “
Nissan is in an unprecedented predicament. Over the past year, Mr. Ghosn, Nissan’s former chairman, and Mr. Nishikawa, the former chief executive, have been laid off over allegations of economic problems, and Nissan’s management has been in turmoil and its operations have been thrown into disarray. Nissan cut its full-year operating profit forecast for fiscal 2019 by 35 per cent in the first and second quarters of this year, likely to record its worst full-year result in the past 11 years.
To reduce costs, Nissan plans to cut 125,000 jobs worldwide, cut production capacity and product lines by 10 percent, or about 10 percent of Nissan’s global workforce.
Guan Run’s departure brings new variables to Nissan’s recovery. When he took office on December 1this year, Mr. Naeda re-emerged as Nissan Motor Co. of the past 20 years, arguing that in recent years there had been corporate culture problems in the course of the company’s operations. Regaining trust and restoring performance remains Nissan’s biggest challenge.