Nissan North America has appointed Nelda J. Connors as the independent outside adviser for its U.S. board of directors. In this role, Connors will provide guidance to the board on matters of U.S. business operations, governance, short and long term strategic planning, diversity and inclusion and sustainability.
The Nissan North America board is led by Nissan chief operating officer (COO) and Chief Performance Officer (CPO) Ashwani Gupta, along with Vice CPO Christian Vandenhende, Nissan North American Vice Chairman Jeremie Papin and Chris Reed, senior vice president of research and development, North America. The board supervises regional business transformation and provides further alignment between Nissan’s Japan headquarters and U.S. operations, focused on prioritizing resources and investment for the company.
“Ms. Connors provides a wealth of experience to Nissan as an entrepreneur and an executive at multiple companies in the automotive and supplier segments in the U.S. and globally,” said Gupta. “As we move into the next stage of our Nissan NEXT global transformation plan, with its focus on the U.S., Ms. Connors’ independent perspective about how best to ensure our success in the U.S. marketplace will be crucial.”
Connors is the founder and chief executive officer of Pine Grove Holdings, LLC, a privately held investment company. Formerly, she was president and CEO of Atkore International Inc., a division of Tyco International, vice president at Eaton Corporation and held positions at Ford, Chrysler and Toyota. Her 30-plus-year career has been global, with assignments in the U.S., Japan, Europe and China.
“Having worked in nearly all aspects of the global automotive industry, including engineering, plant management, as well as in the aftermarket and for OEM suppliers, I am eager to leverage my experience and entrepreneurial mindset to support Nissan and its goals of a sustainable business for employees, dealers and consumers,” said Connors.
Connors is fluent in Japanese and has a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton, with post-graduate studies at the University of Tokyo. She also serves as a board member for Boston Scientific Corporation, Borg Warner, Baker Hughes and Enersys, Inc.