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AFP
September 10, 2019

Nissan CEO set to resign

Business

AFP
September 10, 2019

Tokyo: The CEO of crisis-hit Japanese automaker Nissan plans to resign, reports said Monday, as the firm´s board meets to discuss an audit launched after former chief Carlos Ghosn´s arrest over financial misconduct.Hiroto Saikawa´s reported decision to step down comes days after he admitted receiving overpayments, and is the latest blow to the firm after Ghosn´s arrest and ouster.

Nissan said it had no immediate comment on the reports, which first emerged overnight. The timing of Saikawa´s resignation, as well as who will succeed him, have reportedly not yet been decided but the embattled CEO is said to have informed several Nissan executives of his decision.

Nissan´s board, including executives from the firm´s alliance partner Renault, will meet at the company´s Yokohama headquarters outside Tokyo from Monday afternoon. Their discussions, which will include the results of an internal Nissan audit, are expected to "run late into the night", sources told AFP.

The audit was launched in the wake of the Ghosn scandal but appears to have implicated Saikawa and other executives for receiving excess pay as part of a scheme under which directors can earn a bonus if their company´s share price rises above a certain level in a set period.

Saikawa is suspected of improperly adding 47 million yen ($440,000) to his compensation by altering the terms of a bonus, according to reports. Nissan has not confirmed the details of the payments, but Saikawa apologised last week, while denying any wrongdoing.

"I left the issue to someone else so I had thought it was dealt with in an appropriate manner," he told reporters. The carmaker is currently undergoing an overhaul intended to strengthen governance after the Ghosn scandal.

In June, Nissan shareholders voted in favour of various measures including the establishment of three new oversight committees responsible for the appointment of senior officials, pay issues and auditing.

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