Robert Thomas is Executive Vice President for Strategic Marketing of
Republic Industries. He is the former president and chief executive
officer of Nissan Motor
Corporation U.S.A. (NMC), the U.S. sales, marketing, service and
distribution arm of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Mr. Thomas participated in the effort to establish The Nissan Foundation in
1992 and serves as chairman. The Foundation, created in the
aftermath of the civil unrest in South Central Los Angeles,
issues grants stemming from a $5 million endowment to
support community agencies in South Central Los Angeles.
The Foundation's goal is to improve the social and economic quality of
life in South Central by building partnerships with service groups and
organizations already working in the area to promote economic development,
job creation and community-building activities. In addition, Mr. Thomas is
chairman and president of the California Automotive Industry Alliance and a
member of the board of directors of the Boy Scouts of America-Los Angeles
Before assuming the position of NMC president, Mr. Thomas was vice president
of corporate strategy for two years. He was vice president and general
manger of Nissan Division between May 1988 and September 1991. Mr. Thomas
joined Nissan in 1982. Prior to that, he spent seven years with Ford Motor
Company, during a period of industry change, when the Detroit auto
manufacturers had to face the new product challenges of the Japanese
imports. Before that he worked at Allstate Insurance Company for two years.
Born in Hyannis, Nebraska, Mr. Thomas was raised in cattle country, and
worked summers on a ranch. While in high school in North Platte, NE., Mr.
Thomas was selected to the All-State football team and was also a Scholastic
All-American in his senior year. He was appointed to the United States Air
Force Academy, where he received a bachelor of science degree in engineering
management in 1967. He was also a member of the academy's track and field
team, participating in the sprint medley, shot put and discus. In his
senior year, he was commander of the 22nd Squadron and a member of the
Academy's Ethics Committee.
After graduation, Mr. Thomas served in the United States Air Force for
four years at the Space and Missile System Organization in the Los Angeles
area, where he was the financial manager for a program office handling a
Restricted Data defense system. Mr. Thomas is married and has two children.