Personnel Articles

SENIOR global Infiniti executive and expat Australian Chris Mallios is preparing to return Down Under at the conclusion of the luxury brand’s relocation from Hong Kong to parent Nissan’s global headquarters in Japan.

The shift in operations, which was announced last year, is expected to be wrapped up next month – pending the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions into Japan – and Mr Mallios is now looking to return to Australia with his family rather than relocate to Yokohama.

He told GoAuto that personal family requirements meant that his preference was to return to Australia after four years abroad rather than move to Japan, and as a result he had decided to leave the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

“I still think there are good opportunities in Australia as due to COVID-19 organisations are needing to reshape their business models to consumer needs,” he said.

“Digital transformation is key and there is still significant work to be done to get that holistic approach right from the customer experience, supply chains and back office support functions all working seamlessly to address customers’ needs, like what is being done here in China successfully.”

Mr Mallios has served as a director and executive committee member of Infiniti’s global operations since October 2018, “leading the alignment between Nissan Motor Corporation and Infiniti on all operational-related topics to ensure functions support to drive global markets revenue and profit performance”.

He had previously spent about 15 months as managing director of Infiniti’s Asia and Oceania region, reporting directly to then president Christian Meunier (now global president of FCA’s Jeep brand) and overseeing the operations across a broad range of markets including Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Mallios said he also worked closely with Nissan’s then chief performance officer Jose Munoz, who last year switched to Hyundai Motor Company as its global COO.

The regional role came after about a year as director of Nissan’s Infiniti Task Force in Beijing, where he had responsibility for leading “the transformation, development and growth” of the Nissan-Dongfeng joint venture set up in 2014 to produce Infiniti vehicles for the world’s biggest automotive market.

Mr Mallios said he was recruited for the position by then Infiniti Motor chairman and global president Roland Krueger, a former senior BMW AG executive who moved to Dyson last year to lead its (now-defunct) automotive project and who was recently promoted to chief executive of the company.

Prior to Nissan/Infiniti, Mr Mallios held a variety of senior executive positions over almost two decades in Australia and across Asia-Pacific spanning automotive parts supply, logistics and construction equipment sales and distribution.

This included almost five years with Perth-based CFC Group – an investment and development group with interests in distribution, logistics, mining, property and infrastructure – in roles such as CEO (mining services and construction), group chief operating officer and CFO.

Earlier in his career, Mr Mallios served as group CFO for financial services company GBST and held high-level positions with component supplier TE Connectivity (formerly Tyco Electronics), including CFO for the Asia-Pacific region (global automotive division), CFO for South Asia, Australia and New Zealand and finance director for the Australasian region.

He also served as group commercial manager (Aust/NZ) for Tyco International.

As GoAuto has reported, Infiniti is currently withdrawing from Australia as part of a global consolidation of its operations announced last year that also sees it pulling out of Western Europe, the UK and other markets.

Its primary focus is now China and North America.

By Terry Martin