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Sproule Leaving Tesla for CMO Spot at Aston Martin

Communications chief partnering with pal from Nissan days.

by on Oct.07, 2014

Simon Sproule is departing Tesla just six months after his arrival to take the top communications and marketing job at Aston Martin.

Just six months after bolting Nissan for Tesla Motors, Simon Sproule is taking the top communications and marketing spot at Aston Martin where he will be reunited with Andy Palmer with whom he worked at Nissan.

Palmer was named CEO of Aston Martin last month and Sproule reported to him prior to leaving for Tesla. The two are reportedly close friends. Tesla declined to comment on the move, but Sproule confirmed it to multiple media outlets. Sproule, a Brit, will relocate from Palo Alto, California, to England for his new gig.

The Automotive Journal of Record!

Sproule has spent more than two decades in public relations posts for Nissan, Ford and Jaguar. He spent more than a decade at Nissan finishing his tenure there as director of communications for Renault-Nissan. He also had a short stint as vice president of communications at Microsoft. (more…)

Tesla Poaches Nissan VP Simon Sproule as New PR Chief

Plenty of challenges await.

by on Mar.13, 2014

New Tesla PR Chief Simon Sproule.

It’s been an up-and-down month for Tesla, and if at times it seems like the start-up battery-carmaker has struggled a bit to stay on-message that’s probably no surprise.  It has, in fact, struggled to keep staffed with PR professionals and even those now on the Palo Alto-based team have often been overwhelmed.

There’s the generally good news about the maker’s stock price run-up, the worrisome developments involving a series of vehicle battery fires.  This week, Tesla seemed shell-shocked when it was denied the opportunity to set up factory-run dealerships in New Jersey. Never mind the fact that its expanding in Europe, preparing to enter China and getting ready to launch a new SUV, to be followed by a more mainstream battery sedan.

Global Insight!

Making sense out of all that will shortly become the responsibility of one Simon Sproule, at 45 an industry veteran who has worked for Ford, Jaguar, and for most of the last decade with CEO Carlos Ghosn in a variety of duties at Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.  His most recent assignment was director of communications for that Euro-Pacific partnership.

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Nissan Shakes Up Global Management Team

Increases emphasis on electric vehicle operations.

by on Mar.11, 2013

Nissan Chief Operating Office Toshiyuki Shiga with the maker's Townpod EV concept.

Nissan Motor Co. has become the latest of the major Japanese automakers to announce a global realignment of its management team.

More than a dozen ranking executives will be shuffled, see their duties increased – or retire.  The moves cover a wide range of operations at Nissan, from marketing to supply chain management to communications, but the maker appears to have put a significant emphasis on its electric vehicle operations.

Be in the Know!

NMC’s Chief Operating Officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, will now directly overseas planning and strategy for the global battery business unit, an operation Nissan has already invested several billion dollars in, with a second assembly plant for its Leaf battery car recently going into operation in Smyrna, Tennessee.

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Nissan Planning to Expand North American Capacity

Another U.S. plant a possibility; maker may also add Infiniti production.

by on Jun.29, 2011

With the Juke and a number of other new products coming to the U.S., Nissan needs to expand North American production capacity.

This story has been updated to include details on Nissan’s individual U.S. and Mexican plants and more on its plans for Infiniti.

Anticipating significant growth in both North and South America Nissan is working up plans that will call for the expansion of its current production base in the U.S. and Mexico, a senior official confirms, hinting that the maker may also resume production of Infiniti models in North America.

Nissan earlier this week unveiled a new 6-year plan, dubbed Power 88, that projects a 50% increase in global sales, with much of that expected to come from China, India and other emerging markets, but the U.S. and other parts of the Americas are central to what global marketing chief Simon Sproule acknowledges is an “aggressive” plan.

News you can use!

“What’s clear is if we look at our aspirations for growth in the U.S. and the role the (two Nissan) Mexican plants play for our growth in North and South America we’re going to have to have more capacity,” said Sproule, who was interviewed during a segment TheDetroitBureau.com hosted on Detroit NPR affiliate WDET-FM.

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Live from Detroit – TheDetroitBureau.com

Ford President Mark Fields one of the guests on today's NPR broadcast - which will be repeated Weds. evening.

by on Jun.29, 2011

Ford President Mark Fields is one of today's guests.

This is an update:

Live – from Detroit – it’s TheDetroitBureau.  Publisher Paul A. Eisenstein’s guest host appearance on the Craig Fahle program on NPR affiliate WDET-FM will be rebroadcast from 7 to 9 PM this evening.  The program’s last 45 minutes were preempted by a news conference by Pres. Obama. But the second airing will include three additional speakers, including Ford Pres. of the Americas Mark Fields.

And there’ll be news in the making, including an update on Nissan’s plans to expand production in North America.

Among the special guests: (more…)

Reuter Named Nissan’s VP Of Corporate Communications

39-year-old veteran will cover all of the Americas.

by on Dec.02, 2010

New Nissan Americas PR Veep David Reuter.

After shaking up its global PR line-up, Nissan is now realigning communications activities in the U.S., with 39-year-old David Reuter being named the new vice president of communications.

Reuter, who joined the Japanese maker earlier this year, will manage a PR network extending from the frozen Canadian North to the Argentine tip of South America.

“We are pleased to welcome David Reuter to his new role leading the Communications function across Nissan Americas,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman, Nissan Americas. “As Nissan continues to grow throughout the Americas David will play a critical role in strengthening our Communications capabilities and implementing an improved level of process, alignment and capability across the region.”

The appointment of Reuter follows news, earlier this autumn, that Simon Sproule would be returning to Nissan as its global communications chief, and taking on significant marketing duties, as well.  Sproule had briefly left Nissan’s Japanese headquarters for a stint with Microsoft.  He made a quick return to the auto industry, handling communications duties for the Renault-Nissan alliance, before regaining his post in Japan.

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Reuter, who will report to Sproule, has also had extensive overseas experience.  After beginning his career, in Detroit, as a PR agency representative for Michelin, he joined Ford, in 1994.  With the U.S. maker, Reuter served assignments in both Tokyo and in Cologne, Germany.

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Sproule Returns to Nissan – And Adds Brand, Marketing Roles

Continued shake-up in senior PR management.

by on Sep.22, 2010

Simon Sproule returns to Japan as Global Marketing Communications chief for Nissan.

It’s back to Tokyo for Simon Sproule, the former chief of global public relations for Nissan Motor Co. who left the automaker, in early 2009, for a brief stint in the high-tech world.

The return of Sproule, who will also take on key marketing duties with his once-and-future employer, is the latest shake-up of Nissan’s global PR management.  Though he has yet to be given the formal title, Bentley’s former chief flak, David Reuter has become the de facto head of Nissan’s public relations operations in the States.

The 41-year-old Sproule has had a momentous career path, over the last decade.  Starting out as a low-level manager in the Ford organization, he rose to become the PR head of that maker’s Jaguar subsidiary – then jumped to Nissan.  His tenure at the Asian maker’s former U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles didn’t last long, however.

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Global News!

Barely a year after joining Nissan, Sproule was recruited by hard-charging CEO Carlos Ghosn to take on global PR duties in Tokyo.

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Shaking Up the PR World

Yes, Simon, you can come home again.

by on Jul.28, 2009

What keeps folks like Simon Sproule coming back to back-breaking auto PR jobs?

What keeps folks like Simon Sproule coming back to back-breaking auto PR jobs?

“You can’t go home again,” the author Thomas Wolfe wrote, in the book by the same title.  And usually, that seems to be true.  But not if you’re Simon Sproule.

In a relatively brief but meteoric career, the 40-year-old Brit went from a minor player in Ford’s global media relations machine to become the worldwide head of public relations for Nissan Motor Co., reporting directly to CEO Carlos Ghosn.  And then, late last year, Sproule shocked those who know him by announcing he’d be leaving the auto industry to join Microsoft as the tech giant’s new PR chief.

I have to admit, knowing him since he was a virtual child prodigy that I referred to as “Young Simon Sproule,” I didn’t really see him in the tech world.  Capable?  Absolutely.  But there’s something about the auto business that gets anyone connected with it, whether a worker bee, PR flack or media hack, hooked.  And so, I couldn’t even fake the slightest bit of surprise when the newly-married Sproule politely called me, this afternoon, to reveal that he was lured back by the siren call of Carlos Ghosn, and would be moving yet again, but this time to Paris.  Sproule will take on the newly-created position as head of PR for the Nissan/Renault Global Alliance.

Even the flaks trust us!

Even the flaks trust us!

“My heart is in the auto business,” he admitted from his office at Microsoft, noting that he’ll be back to work with Nissan/Renault on September 1st.

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Sproule Says Sayonara to Nissan

PR chief taking top flak spot at Microsoft

by on Feb.10, 2009

Sayonara Tokyo, hello Seattle

Sayonara Tokyo, hello Seattle

One of the youngest and well-respected PR chiefs in the auto industry is moving on. Just days after Nissan Motor Co. reported a massive loss and revealed plans to slash jobs around the world, Simon Sproule has announced he will be among those leaving the troubled Asian maker – in this case voluntarily. Sproule will become vice president and global public relations chief at Seattle-based Microsoft Corp., starting March 2nd.

“A big brand like that comes along for someone like me only once in a lifetime,” said Sproule, talking to TheDetroitBureau.com from the offices, in Tokyo, which he will officially vacate on February 27th.

So far, no word on who will replace him at Nissan. But the British-born media relations executive responded with a stern, “no,” when asked if his departure had anything to do with the announcement, on Monday, that Nissan would go billions of dollars into the red for the fiscal year ending March 31st, triggering 20,000 job cuts worldwide. Sproule said he had already signed up with Microsoft before the bad news became apparent.

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