Crisis-hit Nissan CEO set to resign as board meets

The CEO of Nissan, a Japanese automaker in the midst of the crisis, said on Monday that the chairman of the board of directors attended a meeting to discuss the audit that began after the arrest of former governor Carlos Ghosn.

Hiroto Saikawa's retirement decision came a few days after receiving an overpayment, and is the most recent blow to the company due to Ghosn's arrest and charges.

Nissan said there was no immediate comment on the report.

It was not yet determined when Saikawa resigned and who succeeded, but the chief executive officer is known to inform several Nissan executives of his decision.

The Nissan Board of Directors, including executives of the company's affiliate partner Renault, will meet at Monday's Yokohama headquarters outside Tokyo.

Their discussions, which will include internal Nissan audit results, are expected to be "late late at night," sources told AFP.

Overpayment Claim

This audit began as a result of the Ghosn scandal, but it appears that Saikawa and other executives were involved in receiving excess wages as part of a scheme where directors can receive a bonus if the company's stock price rises above a certain level over a period of time. .

According to reports, Saikawa is suspected of changing the bonus terms and adding incorrectly 45 million yen ($ 440,000) to their compensation.

Nissan did not confirm the details of the payment, but Saikawa apologized last week.

"I thought I had the problem left to someone else and handled it in a proper way," he told reporters.

Automakers are currently undergoing inspections to strengthen governance after the Ghosn scandal.

In June, Nissan shareholders voted in favor of various measures, including the establishment of three new oversight committees responsible for senior official appointments, pay issues and audits.

They also approved the election of 11 directors as a company restructuring, among which two Renault executives as well as Saikawa were among them.

This reform was designed to make Nissan a more stable base after the arrest of Ghosn, who was fired from the leadership roles of Japanese and other companies.

He is waiting for a trial on reports of paying less than millions of dollars and using company funds for personal expenses.

Ghosn denied misbehavior and Nissan executives opposed plans to further integrate the company with Renault in France.

Saikawa Resignation Request

Saikawa, one Ghosn protege, turned around sharply against his former mentor after his arrest.

However, in the wake of the scandal, the CEO was faced with pressure to resign from shareholders who regarded themselves as too independent of the Ghosn era.

He immediately resisted his call to retreat, but said he planned to pass the reins after Nissan returned.

The Ghosn scandal proved Nissan's catastrophe, confirming that its net profit plummeted nearly 95{7be40b84a6a43fc4fae13304fce9a2695859798abfc41afd127b9f8b21c5f9c5} from July to June and will cut 12,500 jobs worldwide.

The Japanese company also struggled to maintain its relationship with Renault as part of a tripartite alliance with Mitsubishi Motors, which Ghosn founded and led.

Renault holds a 43{7be40b84a6a43fc4fae13304fce9a2695859798abfc41afd127b9f8b21c5f9c5} stake in Japanese automakers and controls 15{7be40b84a6a43fc4fae13304fce9a2695859798abfc41afd127b9f8b21c5f9c5} of French companies, but no voting rights without voting rights.

"There is a working theory" about cross-holding structure reforms between the two companies, a source close to this issue added, "There is nothing official in the AFP."

Nissan is also facing another challenge with Bloomberg News that Christina Murray, the company's auditor, also resigned without giving reasons.




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