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Ex-Nissan exec Jose Munoz is now Hyundai's global COO, CEO of Hyundai North America

This is a real power move for both Munoz and Hyundai, as the latter moves to carve itself a bigger piece of the pie.

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Former Nissan exec Jose Munoz is rumored to be putting the final touches on a deal to become the global COO for Hyundai and CEO of Hyundai Motor America.
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Ex-Nissan exec Jose Munoz may have bailed on the troubled Japanese firm amid its big Carlos Ghosn scandal, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been busy since then. Hyundai announced on Thursday that Munoz has taken up the mantle of chief operating officer at Hyundai.

This is a massive jump up the corporate ladder for Munoz. His new position also entails him taking over as CEO of Hyundai Motor America. Not bad for a guy who, until January, was the chief performance officer at what is arguably the lowest-performance Japanese automaker. Munoz also headed up both US and Chinese operations for the brand.

Munoz' departure from Nissan in January was initially billed as a leave of absence to assist with "special tasks" related to the Ghosn investigation. We found out later that he had left Nissan entirely.

"I am excited to join Hyundai Motor at this vital time in its history," said José Muñoz, global COO for Hyundai Motors, in a statement. "My capabilities around delivering steady profitable growth, managing the entire supply chain, and working together with our dealer partners to find win-win solutions match up well with the opportunity here. I am eager to bring best global practices from the automobile and technology industries to my new role as COO of Hyundai Motor Company and am honored to join this esteemed corporation."

Munoz's expertise when it comes to grabbing market share provides yet another reason for establishment brands from Europe and Japan to be afraid of the once-derided brand from Korea.

Updated 4/18: Added Hyundai's confirmation that Jose Munoz has accepted a position as COO.