GARDENA, CA: Debra Sanchez Fair, VP of communications for Nissan North America, has resigned from the company effective March 7.
No replacement has been selected. "Announcement of a replacement will be made at a later time," said Kyle Bazemore, senior manager of corporate communications. He did not know if Nissan had taken on a search firm to fill the post.
Fair moved into the VP spot in February 2000 after Jason Vines left to become head of PR at Ford. At the time, Nissan said it didn't consider looking outside the company for a replacement. Fair had been director of corporate communications.
Fair was with Nissan for 13 years, and is well respected among auto PR people. Her sudden departure took the industry by surprise since Nissan does not seem to have obvious PR problems at the moment, and there's been no evidence that Nissan management might be dissatisfied with her efforts.
When she took the job, Nissan was doing well in North America. Sales fell 12% in February, but that is part of an overall softening of the US auto market.