TOKYO — Nissan Motor Co. has poached General Motors veteran Joseph Peter to replace Alain Dassas as the Japanese company’s new CFO.
Peter is currently vice president and CFO of international operations at General Motors Co. in Shanghai. Dassas, who was sent to Nissan from its French partner Renault SA in 2007, will return to France and keep working on special projects for the alliance, Nissan said today.
Nissan spokesman Alan Buddendeck said Dassas departed for family reasons.
“It’s a very personal decision that Alain came to the leadership with a couple of months ago,” Buddendeck said, without giving further details.
Dassas spent 24 years at Renault before coming to Japan to help President Carlos Ghosn run Nissan. He returns to France on Dec. 1.
Buddendeck said bringing Peter in from a rival carmaker would inject fresh energy into Nissan.
“Nissan has a proven track record of going outside from time to time to bring in a unique perspective,” said Buddendeck, who himself was hired away from Motorola Inc. to lead Nissan’s North American public affairs department in Nashville. Earlier this year, he was promoted to head of global communication at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama.
Among Nissan’s most notable outside picks is Shiro Nakamura, a noted designer from Isuzu Motors Ltd. whom Ghosn wooed away to revitalize Nissan’s styling.
Peter joins Nissan on Oct. 19 and starts as CFO the day Dassas leaves. Peter spent 25 years at GM. He now will be based in Yokohama, Japan, and report directly to Ghosn.
In July, Peter was appointed CFO of GM’s new international division, created after the company’s emergence from bankruptcy to replace the old regional structure. The division is responsible for all operations outside North America.
During his tenure at GM, Peter served in several executive positions in finance, including vice president and CFO of Saab Automobile AB in Sweden, GM Daewoo Auto & Technology in South Korea and GM North American Operations, before his most recent role.