INTERNATIONAL: Nissan selects Berthu for Europe corp comms role

PARIS: Car firm Nissan has ended its year-long search for a

European corporate communications chief, taking on former Lafarge PR

chief Denis Berthu.



Berthu joins as V-P communications for Nissan across Europe, based in

Paris.



He takes over from acting communications boss Akinari Okabe. Deputy

general manager Okabe moved to Nissan's Paris office from the firm's

Tokyo HQ in September 2000 when the last dedicated corporate

communications head Daniel Ward resigned after ten years with the firm

(PRWeek, 8 December 2000).



Ward quit after Nissan relocated its PR unit from Amsterdam to Paris,

which came as a result of Nissan's alliance with Renault in March

1999.



Berthu leaves his post as director of communications for French

construction materials giant Lafarge, which is recruiting for his

replacement.



At Nissan, Berthu joins as a European management committee member with a

remit to oversee corporate communications policy, alongside both

internal and product communications.



Part of his brief is to contribute to the definition of the group's

worldwide communications strategy and to the promotion of the

Renault-Nissan alliance.



Berthu oversees a PR team of 15, including internal, corporate, product

and technology PR staff.



Previously, Berthu has worked as corporate communications manager for

six years at Groupe Pernod Ricard and for eight years at automotive

supplier company Valeo.



The Nissan Europe press team recently underwent a change after the

departure of corporate affairs manager Stewart McKee, who left to become

group PR director for MG Rover in the UK (PRWeek, 31 August).



Nissan Europe PRO Claire Martin replaced McKee, assuming his

responsibilities within corporate affairs alongside her role as European

special adviser to Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn.



Europe represents 20 per cent of Nissan's total sales, with 533,000

sales in 2000.



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