Close on the heels of Renault Nissan’s global chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn financial misconduct scandal, the top helm of the alliance in India has also undergone changes. Biju Balendran has been appointed as the managing director and chief executive officer for Renault Nissan Automotive India (RNAIPL) while Sambath Kumar has been appointed as the chief finance officer for Nissan India Operations.
Biku succeeds current incumbent Colin MacDonald who will move on to a new role based in Europe after successful completion of his tenure at RNAIPL. While Biju will be responsible for all the manufacturing operations of the Renault-Nissan Alliance factory at Oragadam in Chennai, Sambath will lead finance for Nissan India Operations (Nissan Motor India and Renault Nissan Automotive India).
Commenting on their appointments, Thomas Kuehl, President - Nissan India Operations, said “As a part of the Nissan India Strategy, we aim to substantially increase plant utilization enabling greater efficiency and build capacity to develop products which meet the expectations of Indian customers."
"Under the leadership of Biju, the manufacturing plant will serve as a key contributor to the growth of Nissan in India. I also want to take the opportunity to thank Colin MacDonald, outgoing MD & CEO, RNAIPL, for his contribution and leadership during the last 5 years to make RNAIPL facility amongst the best in our organization.”
Biju has more than two decades of experience in automobile manufacturing in India and international markets. He will report to Thomas Kuehl, president, Nissan India Operations in India, and functionally to Sakamoto Masahiro, RVP Monozukuri, AMI, Nissan and Pascal Felten, RSVP Alliance, Africa Middle East and India (AMI) Monozukuri.
Meanwhile, Sambath is an industry veteran with over two decades of experience and has played key roles in finance, internal controlling, audit and strategic planning. He will report to Thomas Kuehl, President, Nissan India Operations and Jay Cook, RVP Finance and GA, AMI Nissan.
On his appointment, Kuel added, “Sambath has played a key role in setting up the finance function for Nissan India. His strong financial and analytical skills will help us continue to execute our strategy in Indian market.”
Interestingly changes at Renault-Nissan alliance follow closely changes at other OEMs in India. Recently, Korean car maker, Hyundai also saw a change of guard at the top. Y K Koo, the CEO& MD stepped down from his role and Seon Seob, the current Business Head of the operations division will replace Koo.
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