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Nissan’s Gupta, once eyed CEO, to leave company

Nissan’s Gupta, once eyed CEO, to leave company

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TOKYO, June 16 (Reuters) – Nissan Motor’s chief operating officer, Ashwani Gupta, will leave the Japanese automaker later this month to pursue other opportunities after helping to steer a turnaround plan aimed at streamlining operations, the company said on Friday.

Nissan plans to announce a new executive lineup on June 27, coinciding with his departure, it said in a statement.

The automaker said last month that the former long-time Renault SA executive would step down from the board of directors on June 27 when his term expires, casting doubt on his future as he had been seen as a frontrunner to be the next CEO.

Gupta joined the company’s leadership team in late 2019, when Japan’s Number 3 automaker was looking to put an end to a period of turmoil triggered by the arrest and sacking of long-time leader, Carlos Ghosn.

Allies of Gupta pressed the board in 2020 to promote him to the role of co-CEO, hoping he would push forward Nissan’s turnaround and boost its alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, but the promotion did not materialize.

Nissan is working to finalize the terms of a sweeping reset of its decades-old alliance with Renault.

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Gupta had clashed with Nissan chief executive, Makoto Uchida, over the latter’s desire to close the negotiations with Renault quickly, with Gupta urging more caution over terms of the deal, people with knowledge of the talks have told Reuters.

The company on Friday said Gupta had taken key leadership positions and had been a “driving force” in various alliance projects over several years resulting in many achievements. It did not further detail the accomplishments.

Gupta joined Renault in India in 2006 and later became vice president in charge of its global commercial vehicle business, a job he held until 2019 when he moved to junior alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors.