Is it just a coincidence that Mark Perry, director of product planning and advanced technology – and a spokesman for the Nissan Leaf who has provided plenty of information to AutoblogGreen over the years – just retired? A company spokesman told us that the move has been planned for a long time, so any questions about timing – it does come at a time when Nissan has one mess to clean up with angry owners in Arizona and another with an owner who's been named in a federal class action lawsuit against the automaker – should be considered pure speculation. There have also been slumping sales numbers causing worried frowns, but perhaps September was a turning point.

Perry has been avidly promoting the Leaf for several years now. He looks a bit young to be retiring (and enthusiastic about his job), though he has been with the company for 25 years. Perry has held positions in marketing, planning and sales management, including a director of corporate brand management and market intelligence for Nissan and Infiniti North America.

Perry's passion for the Nissan Leaf was obvious to anyone who's talked to him in the past five years. Next to Carlos Ghosn, Mark Perry would likely be considered the company's strongest proponent of the Leaf. Plug In Cars' Brad Berman interviewed Perry in 2008 and could tell the Leaf was Perry's baby and he was dedicated to moving sales of and public support for the EV forward. It wasn't easy, and Perry recently referred to the adoption of the Leaf as "the launch that never ends." For Perry, at least, that's no longer true.

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