Andy Palmer just left Nissan for more expensive pastures as the top guy at Aston Martin. It's probably not fantastic news for Nissan, which has been shedding executives like Carlos Tavares and Johan De Nysschen over the past year. But Palmer's departure has a curious story behind it.
Reuters reports that Palmer, formerly one of CEO Carlos Ghosn's top ranking lieutenants, pushed hard for Nissan to invest in Aston Martin. That would have been a very interesting move, especially considering Nissan's partner Mercedes-Benz is also pairing up with (and probably ultimately going to buy) the British sports car maker.
Palmer pushed Ghosn to purchase an Aston Martin stake in 2012 and 2013, but the Renault-Nissan top man wouldn't do it, the report says. Sources who spoke to Reuters wouldn't say why, though.
So Palmer wanted his company to invest in another company, and when they wouldn't do it, he quit to head up that other company. Seems a bit odd, doesn't it?
Maybe. Or maybe he just developed a good relationship with Aston, and after getting fed up with Ghosn — something that seems to be a happening a lot lately — he took a CEO job when it was offered to him. That's what analysts think, anyway.
"I'm sure that played a role in bringing him aboard at Aston Martin," said London-based ISI Group analyst Arndt Ellinghorst. "I wouldn't be surprised if that relationship deepened - it only makes sense."
I wonder if Nissan has remorse over not buying into Aston now.