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
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
Berthu leaves his post as director of communications for French
construction materials giant Lafarge, which is recruiting for his
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
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.