Nissan premium brand Infiniti says chief de Nysschen to leave

TOKYO, July 11 Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:28am EDT

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TOKYO, July 11 (Reuters) - The chief of Nissan Motor Co's premium brand Infiniti, Johan de Nysschen, is leaving two years after he joined the Japanese carmaker, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

De Nysschen, a South African and a former Audi executive, has submitted his resignation and will be leaving the company this month to go to the United States, Infiniti spokeswoman Karin Zhang said.

Andy Palmer, Nissan's chief planning officer and Infiniti's chairman, will be taking over as president of the premium brand until Nissan finds a successor to de Nysschen, Zhang said.

De Nysschen, 54, has been in talks with General Motors Co about joining its premium brand Cadillac, Automotive News reported earlier on Friday citing sources.

De Nysschen, who worked at Audi for 19 years before joining Infiniti in 2012, was leading the brand's efforts to revamp its design to boost sales as it struggled to establish its position in the world's competitive premium market.

He aimed to boost Infiniti sales to half a million cars a year in the next 4-5 years, nearly triple the 180,000 vehicles it sold in the year ended in March 2014. (Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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