A key figure in Nissan’s electric programs and the man who partly ensured the manufacturer entered the ABB FIA Formula E Championship resigned from the company on Tuesday.
Nissan announced earlier today that executive vice-president Daniele Schillaci had “chosen to leave the company to pursue an opportunity closer to his native home in Europe.”
Schillaci held the role of the Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Sales, Zero Emission Vehicle and Battery Business.
The Italian was also the public face of the Formula E announcement in 2017 when Nissan took over the grid slot previously occupied by its sister brand Renault.
A key part of Schillaci’s former role at Nissan was as a leading company spokesperson to tell the story of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, which is the manufacturer’s vision to deliver more autonomy and electrification in its products.
“Nissan will be the first Japanese brand to enter this growing championship, bringing our long history of motorsports success to the Formula E grid,” said Schillaci in the autumn of 2017 when Nissan announced its Formula E program.
“It will give us a global platform for bringing our pioneering Nissan Intelligent Mobility strategy to a new generation of racing fans.”
Schillaci’s departure comes after a tumultuous few months for the automaker after the arrest of former chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn in Japan late last year.
Ghosn was arrested on several financial misconduct charges, all of which he has denied.
Ghosn recruited Schillaci, who was also in charge of electric vehicles strategy and credited for spearheading the Intelligent Mobility program, back in 2015.
Several other key figures have left Nissan in recent months, including Jose Munoz in January, who had been its former Chinese market executive.
Nissan CEO and president Hiroto Saikawa commented on Schillaci’s departure.
“Daniele has significantly contributed to Nissan in numerous ways, including expanding our EV business, strengthening key markets and especially his work to develop and promote the platform of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s mid-term vision to deliver more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity to move people to a better world,” he said.
“The Nissan family thanks him for these efforts, and we all wish him well.”
Nissan entered Formula E at the start of the current season and has scored two pole positions and one second-place finish after seven races. It currently places seventh in the teams’ standings.
It has recently faced a backlash from rival manufacturers for its perceived application of a unique twin-MGU setup with its powertrain.