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Nissan chief planning officer Andy Palmer will be leaving the company to become CEO of Aston Martin, the British carmaker has announced.

The 51-year old, who also has been running Infiniti since Johan de Nysschen moved to Cadillac in July, was reportedly the main target of Aston Martin for recruitment. Former Aston boss Ulrich Bez stepped down late last year.

“After he completes a transition period from his current employer,” Palmer will pass the baton to Philippe Klein, product planning chief of Renault. Klein will then report directly to Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Palmer started his professional career in 1979 at the age of 16, as an apprentice at Automotive Products Limited (UK). In 1986 he joined Austin Rover to eventually become Rover Group’s transmissions chief engineer. Palmer joined Nissan in 1991 and has been based in Japan for the past 13 years.

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“We’re delighted that Andy will join us as our new CEO at this important time at Aston Martin,” said a statement from Aston Martin’s shareholder board.

“Andy’s wealth of experience on the global automotive stage in marketing and sales, engineering and technology, and luxury and brand management will be instrumental in taking Aston Martin forward through its most significant and ambitious period of investment to date.”

We had the opportunity recently to catch up with Palmer at the launch of the Nissan NP300 Navara in Bangkok, where he shared with us Nissan (and Datsun’s) plans for our region.