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Former Nissan U.S. Chief Dies

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Tom Mignanelli, who headed Nissan Motor Co.’s U.S. sales unit in the early 1990s, died late last month at the age of 73.

Mignanelli spent 18 years at Ford Motor Co., including a stint as general sales manager for the company’s Lincoln-Mercury division. He joined Nissan in 1987 and became the first American CEO of the company’s U.S. operations in 1990. He left Nissan in 1993 following quadruple bypass heart surgery.

Known for his blunt and aggressive managerial style, Mignanelli had mixed results during his tenure at Nissan. He is credited with updating and streamlining the company’s organization and business practices. But he was unable to revive slumping sales and was faulted for spending millions of dollars on an ill-fated motorsports program.

After leaving Nissan, Mignanelli worked as an executive recruiter and was involved in automotive service businesses. He retired to Hawaii in 2003.

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