LOS ANGELES Jed Connelly is retiring as senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nissan North America in advance of the company's imminent move to Tennessee, the automaker confirmed.
Nissan Canada vice president and general manager Brad Bradshaw will succeed Connelly, 60, the Gardena, Calif.-based automaker said. Bradshaw could not be immediately reached for comment.
Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., said in a statement, that Connelly "led the North American team through a period of unprecedented growth and profitability."
Connelly came to Nissan after working at Sterling Motorcars and Volkswagen of America, in 1989, as the national direct marketing manager for Infiniti. After leaving the company for a period of years, he returned in 1998 as director of staff operations.
"He led this turnaround in North America and he's a very personable guy," said Rob Schwartz, executive creative director at Omnicom Group's TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. "And as vitriolic as the car business can be, Jed was like the eye of the hurricane. He will be greatly missed, but he leaves a great legacy."
Schwartz added, "Bradshaw is cut from Jed's cloth, a real gentleman, sharp, smart and you want to run through walls for him. He's that kind of client."
Connelly leaves the company in good health, as Nissan and Infiniti combined sold more than 1 million units last year, according to Car Concepts, Thousand Oaks, Calif. The automaker spent $1.1 billion advertising in 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.