Simon Sproule, the sequel: Misreported reports

Jeff Kuhlman and Roland Buerk bid Simon Sproule farewell at  the Foreign Correspondents' Club, Tokyo

Jeff Kuhlman and Roland Buerk bid Simon Sproule farewell at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Tokyo

Tesla considered the fact that it won over Simon Sproule from Nissan such a big deal that it tipped-off Bloomberg about the catch. At Nissan, the story was worth not more than four words. “Simon Sproule will retire,” Nissan said today, and buried it in a statement that listed many management changes as per April 1, 2014. A successor was not named.

Checking with our sources at Yokohama dockland sake bars, we heard that – gomen nasai – we had a few things wrong in our Friday story.

We had Sproule head marketing communications at Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. “Not quite true,” say our informants, “he was both, but not at the same time.”

Sproule was Nissan CVP in charge of Marketing Communications until April 2013, when he became Head of Marketing Communications, Renault-Nissan Alliance.

At that time, Roel de Vries assumed the duties of Head of Marketing Communications, while Jeff Kuhlman was head of PR.

It is also not true that Kuhlmann will report to de Vries, as our apparently inebriated sources had told us on Friday night. Kuhlmann did and will report to Chief Planning Officer Andy Palmer. A very sober source stated today that there is no replacement needed for Sproule at Nissan, because he had already been replaced by de Vries back in 2013. Our Yokohama sources have no information about Sproule’s successor at the Alliance.  Informants in the Paris bistro community insist that the Alliance marcom functions will be taken over by Rachel Konrad when Sproule enjoys his well-deserved retirement at Tesla.