Nissan reorganizes global comms function

The automaker said Thursday morning that it was making the changes to support the company's growth and performance around the world.

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN: Nissan Motor is reorganizing its global communications function, the automaker said Thursday morning.

Nissan has hired Amanda Groty as GM of global corporate communications. She stepped into the role this month after leaving her position as senior director and head of communications at PayPal EMEA in February, according to her LinkedIn profile. Groty will develop strategic messaging programs that support the company’s global reputation and key business objectives, Nissan said in a statement.

Sadayuki Hamaguchi, who leads Nissan’s global corporate communications, is taking on the role of GM and head of Japan communications. His move is part of what the automaker called a wide-ranging expansion of its communications function and increased focus on the Japan market. Hamaguchi will work alongside Groty.

The company also promoted David Reuter to VP of global communications operations from VP of corporate communications for North America. Effective July 1, Reuter will oversee Nissan’s regional communications teams and coordinate their alignment with global headquarters to create a "more cohesive, aligned, and strategic function," the company said in a statement.

Reuter will be based in Franklin, Tennessee, and report to Jonathan Adashek, chief communications officer of Nissan Motor. Kristina Adamski, director of group communications, will succeed him as VP of corporate communications for North America. Reporting to Nissan Motor EVP and Nissan North America chairman José Muñoz, Adamski will be responsible for leading Nissan's comms function across North America and providing strategic counsel and support to the company's senior leadership.

The company also hired Rockefeller Foundation speechwriter Traci Carpenter as manager and speechwriter for Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn. Steven Silver, a speechwriter for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is joining the company as manager of executive communications.

Other changes include the creation of Centers of Excellence in areas including digital engagement, to be headed by Ian Rowley, deputy GM of the Nissan global media center. Dan Sloan, head of the Nissan media center, will lead another group focused on campaigning and content.

Nissan said in a statement that the hires and promotions are intended to support the company’s growth and global performance. It is unveiling 14 new or significantly refreshed cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs this year.

In March, Adashek hinted he was planning to make changes to implement "a broader campaign-like mentality," by closely aligning Nissan’s communications and marketing functions. Adashek replaced Jeff Kuhlman as Nissan’s global communications chief last September. Kuhlman joined Bentley Motors as chief communications officer for the Americas in November.

Nissan, which denied charges last month by the Korean government that it falsified emissions reports, appointed Stuart Jackson as VP of communications for Nissan Europe in October. Jackson said in May that 30% of the Nissan Europe comms leadership team was changing. The restructure of Nissan’s pan-European comms team included several senior appointments and promotions alongside the transfer of corporate responsibility to the comms division.

For full-year 2015, which concluded at the end of March, Nissan’s revenue increased 7.2% to $108.4 billion, though it fell in Q4 by 1.2% to $28.9 billion. Net income, meanwhile, tumbled 40% to $631.3 million in the January-to-March period. Its most profitable market during the period was North America.

After Mitsubishi Motors acknowledged manipulating fuel-economy data, Nissan Motor took a 34% stake in the company in May.

This story was updated on June 23 with additional financial information.

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