TOKYO, March 16 (UPI) -- Nissan Motor Co.'s chief executive will give up his post as head of North American operations, the automaker said Friday in announcing a management shake-up.
Carlos Ghosn, who is also chairman and chief executive of Renault SA, will focus on leading France's 8-year-old Renault-Nissan alliance, which seeks to recover from declining sales and profits.
The move followed Nissan's February warning it expected lower 2006 profits for the first time in seven years due to sluggish sales in Japan and North America, its two biggest markets.
European Executive Vice President Hiroto Saikawa will take over Ghosn's North American duties April 1. Hidetoshi Imazu will take replace Saikawa in Europe.
Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga will focus solely on Nissan's Japanese domestic operations, rather than also head general overseas markets. European manufacturing Senior Vice President Colin Dodge will replace Shiga's general overseas duties.
"The priority for our new management team is to act decisively on the multiple challenges facing Nissan and to boost our overall performance in 2007," Ghosn said.
Nissan also said it would cut vehicle production at two Japanese factories between April and June. Nissan's new fiscal year starts April 1.