South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor on Thursday named former Nissan executive Jose Munoz as its global chief operating officer.

Munoz, who will take charge on May 1, has also been named president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor North America and Hyundai Motor America.

Previously, Munoz, 53, was Nissan Motor‘s chief performance officer and head of its China operations.

He joined Nissan in 2004 in Europe and led its expansion in North America after the global financial crisis. Since then, Nissan has raised its market share in the United States and posted record sales.

Munoz resigned from Nissan in January, further rattling the Japanese automaker’s management team amid the investigation into ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s alleged financial misconduct.

Widely considered as a close ally of Ghosn and a potential successor to lead the automaking partnership between Nissan and France’s Renault, Munoz had been a “person of interest” in Nissan’s widening internal investigation. Munoz will be based in California and will report to Hyundai’s top leadership in Seoul.

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