• Expertise: Human Resources & General Affairs
  • Location: Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • Languages spoken: English

Who is Adrian Smart?

Adrian has enjoyed a long and varied career at Nissan, since joining the company in 1997, he has held several global positions within Nissan's Human Resources arm. In his new role as Vice President and Head of Human Resources for Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania, he will be responsible for all aspects of managing the employee lifecycle and general affairs, including security safety, training, and development.

Career History

Prior to his introduction to Nissan, Adrian worked for ACDelco as a Personnel Officer and at Ernst & Young, where he started his career as a Business Trainee.

Since joining Nissan Technical Centre Europe in 1997 as HR Business Partner, Adrian has held various positions throughout the business across the AMIEO region including; HR Director for NMUK, Monozukuri and Manufacturing HR for Europe, Head of Global Compensation & Benefits and VP HR Europe.


Adrian recalls a significant milestone achievement in his career during his time as HR Director of NMUK was the drastic improvement of employee survey scores and engagement rates. Adrian was pleased to see that the impact rippled throughout Nissan's European operations and signified a collective step forward in managing and reflecting the employee experience.  

Given the challenging few years of headwinds due to the impact of supply shortages and COVID, Adrian is proud that Nissan's HR team has managed this challenging period with compassion, prioritising employees at every opportunity.

Personal Memory

Adrian credits Nissan for his colourful and varied career to date and is grateful for the multitude of different roles and challenges that Nissan has offered over the years. He has particularly fond memories from his several relocation opportunities and is grateful for the long-term relationships he has built over the years lending to a productive and enjoyable work environment.

Why is Nissan different?

Adrian remarks that Nissan's employee value proposition is its diversity and the opportunity to progress within the business. He believes that Nissan offers a limitless career for those that want it and is proud of its attention to nurturing talent.

Future Predictions

Due to the changing industry landscape, Adrian and his team are currently putting structures in place to upskill Nissan's workforce to best equip them for the shift to electrification.  

Adrian notes that the culture of the workplace has also been reimagined since the onset of COVID, providing employees with flexibility and to feel empowered in their work life balance. Adrian notes that there will be a continued conversation around redefining this balance to ensure that Nissan can combine employee preference whilst also maintaining the excellence of service and production.


  • Business Economics Degree from Nottingham Trent University (2:1)
  • Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from Middlesex University Business School

In Adrian's personal time

Adrian credits his two young boys for keeping him young and very busy. He is also a keen lover of all things sport and with a particular interest in tennis, you will find him glued to the screen during Wimbledon.

What is your first car/ current car?

Adrian reminisces on his first ever car, purchased at just 18 years old, he has fond memories of his Vauxhall Cavalier which he recalls cost him £800.

Currently driving a Nissan X-Trail, Adrian will soon be adding a Nissan Qashqai to his roster.

# # #

Issued by Nissan