James, a former journalist who has spent the past decade in a series of comms roles at Nissan, will be responsible for the automotive company's corporate and manufacturing comms, as well as corporate social responsibility, across Europe.
He will also take the lead in ensuring that Nissan's progress in future technologies such as self-driving cars is communicated to a broad corporate audience.
James spent seven years working in regional newspapers before embarking on a career in PR in 2009. He has worked for Nissan since 2010, starting out as the Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK communications lead and moving to the role of manager for European manufacturing communications in 2015.
In his new role, James will be based in France – at the company’s European headquarters in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, south of Paris – and will report to Jesse Verstraete, vice-president of communications for Nissan Europe. Verstraete replaced Stuart Jackson in that role earlier in the summer.
Verstraete said: "Paul will be a great addition to the communications leadership team as we continue to transform our discipline in support of the wider business and grow into new areas with new stories to tell."
Commenting on his new role, James said: "Having worked for Nissan across Europe for the past eight years, I’ve seen first-hand the work being done to transform and shape the future of the automotive industry. These are exciting times and I’m looking forward to my new role and the opportunities we have as a team to develop our storytelling and engage new audiences."