Nissan Loses Marketing-Communications Chief

Jan Thompson's Exit Was Unexpected, Will Be Replaced by Ford Vet

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DETROIT ( -- Jan Thompson, VP-marketing communications at Nissan North America, left the automaker unexpectedly late yesterday and will be succeeded by a Ford Motor Co. marketer, the company said.
Jan Thompson
Jan Thompson

Ben Poore, who had been group marketing manager of Ford Motor's Lincoln Mercury and truck group marketing manager of its Ford Division, will succeed her effective Oct. 8.

Extensive overseas experience
"I would like to recognize Jan for her contributions to the company and wish her every success in the future," Mark McNabb, senior VP-sales and marketing of Nissan North America said in a prepared statement. "I would like also to welcome Ben to our team. Ben has extensive international automotive experience. I look forward to his leadership for the Nissan and Infiniti Marketing Communications organization."

Ms. Thompson did not return calls for comment.

Ms. Thompson, 58, joined Nissan in 2004 as VP-marketing from the Designory, where she had been president-CEO and worked directly on the Nissan and Isuzu accounts. Her original job at Nissan included broader duties such as product planning and positioning for both the Nissan and Infiniti brands.

But the automaker shifted Ms. Thompson's title in March and reduced her responsibilities to advertising, interactive marketing and marketing communications activities for the two brands. She told Advertising Age shortly afterward the change "was a relief."

Former 'Power Player'
Ms. Thompson was named a "Power Player" by Advertising Age in 2005 and 2006 for her role at Nissan. Advertising Age also honored her in its annual Marketing 100 in 1992, when she was VP-marketing at Mazda, for the Miata launch, and again in 1995 as VP-general manager of the U.S. Golf Division of Wilson Sporting Goods Co. for rejuvenating the brand.

She started her auto career at Chrysler before joining Toyota in 1984 and moved to Mazda in 1989.
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