Japanese auto giant Nissan has recently announced changes that it has made to its top management, the first being the appointment of Joni Paiva as its new Regional Vice President, Marketing and Sales for Africa, Middle East and India. Meanwhile, Thierry Sabbagh has now been promoted to Managing Director of Nissan Middle East. The carmaker also confirmed that both of its new senior management members, namely Paiva and Sabbagh would be working out of its Middle East office that is based in Dubai, UAE.

Commenting on the senior management changes that were made, Peyman Kargar, Senior Vice President and Chairman of the Management Committee of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., for Africa, Middle East, and India, said, “Nissan aims to double its presence in Africa, the Middle East and India over the course of our midterm plan to 2022. We are pleased to welcome Joni from Nissan Canada to the region to lead our regional AMI business, and congratulate Thierry on his new role within the organization to lead our Middle East operations. They both bring vast knowledge of the automotive industry with a commendable track record of success. We are confident that their strategic expertise and skills will add immense value to our drive for growth in the region.”

Thierry Sabbagh, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East.

“Nissan aims to double its presence in Africa, the Middle East and India over the course of our midterm plan to 2022. We are pleased to welcome Joni from Nissan Canada to the region to lead our regional AMI business, and congratulate Thierry on his new role within the organization to lead our Middle East operations. They both bring vast knowledge of the automotive industry with a commendable track record of success. We are confident that their strategic expertise and skills will add immense value to our drive for growth in the region,” Peyman Kargar, Senior Vice President and Chairman of the Management Committee of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., for Africa, Middle East, and India.

Before Joni Paiva came onboard, the role of Regional Vice President, Marketing and Sales for Africa, Middle East and India was handled by Sivagnanam Kalyana (Shivi). And just as with the predecessor before him, Paiva would also be reporting to Peyman Kargar. Meanwhile, Sivagnanam Kalyana has now been transferred to the United Kingdom as Managing Director of Nissan Motor Great Britain. Joni Paiva is no stranger to the company, as he has over 20 years of collective experience working within the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Previously, Paiva spent three years at Nissan Canada as its President, where was in charge of overseeing various aspects of Nissan operations. During that time and under the leadership of Paiva, Nissan Canada witnessed a steady increase in sales – selling over 149,000 vehicles in 2018 (which represents a 1.7 percent increase year-over-year). Paiva’s role saw him supervising and managing departments that included Sales and Marketing, Finance, Dealer Network, Product and Corporate Planning, Aftersales and the Captive Sales finance company.

Joni Paiva is no stranger to the company, as he has over 20 years of collective experience working within the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Just as with Joni Paiva, Thierry Sabbagh is also a veteran of the industry, bringing to the table more than 15 years of collective experience in the automotive industry, that too, right here in the Middle East. Sabbagh has been brought in as a successor to Juergen Schmitz, who has been working with Nissan Middle East for the past 11 years. However, after a successful jaunt at the company, Schmitz decided to leave in order to pursue other opportunities.

Prior to his current role at the Japanese marque, Thierry Sabbagh’s professional work experience included a promising stint at Ford Middle East. Sabbagh served as the Regional Sales Director at Ford since 2012, before getting promoted to Managing Director in 2015. During his time at the Blue Oval, Sabbagh was tasked with several high profile responsibilities, including supporting Ford and Lincoln dealers across all the GCC markets and as well as in Lebanon.  He was also handling Ford’s fleet and commercial vehicle business, apart from working on improving the distributor marketing side of things as well. And before he joined team Ford, Sabbagh was busy gaining experience performing various duties under other major carmakers, which included some of the industry’s stalwarts such as Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz.