Arun Sudhaman 22 Jan 2020 // 9:49AM GMT
HONG KONG — Trevor Hale is stepping down from his role as GM of Infiniti's global communications, ahead of the Nissan brand's relocation of its HQ from Hong Kong to Yokohama later this year.
Hale will remain with Infiniti until the end of March, after joining the luxury brand in 2016. He is replaced by Wendy Orthman, who has been promoted from a senior manager role at Nissan North America in Nashville, TN.
"Infiniti is embarking on a major brand transformation with a new global headquarters and the launch of five new vehicles over the next three years including new electrified products in the pipeline," said Michael Colleran, deputy chairman of Infiniti. "Wendy’s energy, creativity and depth of experience will be essential in leading our global communications efforts as we craft the narrative for the future of the Infiniti brand."
While Hale reported to the Infiniti chairman, he was recruited to the role by former Nissan communications chief Jonathan Adashek, and is the latest in a string of senior comms departures. Adashek himself left the Japanese carmaker in 2018 to lead comms for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, before departing the Alliance last year after the high-profile arrest of chairman Carlos Ghosn, and joining IBM.
Other members of Adashek's team who have left Nissan include global communications GM Amanda Groty, global comms VP David Reuter, Africa, Middle East and India comms head Roland Buerk, and comms VPs Kristina Adamski and Heather Knox.
In addition, GM of global communications, Takako Ohyabu, recently left after just one year, having joined as the Ghosn scandal unfolded and after spending more than a decade at GE. Ohyabu was replaced by existing Nissan staffer Lavanya Wadgaonkar.
"I’m very proud of the team and work we’ve done in growing and developing the communications capabilities at Infiniti,” said Hale. "Having celebrated the 30th anniversary of the brand, helped dozens of mobility startups in an incubator, developed an electrification and technology communication strategy and built the function into a global blended team together with agency partners, the time is right to pursue another opportunity, prior to Infiniti's move from Hong Kong to Nissan headquarters in Japan. I wish them the best in the future."
Prior to Infiniti, Hale spent six years with Ford, leading communications across Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Before that, he led Daimler's Northeast Asia communications from China.