Nissan to discuss CEO resignation after Saikawa confirmed he was overpaid

Nissan to discuss CEO resignation after Saikawa confirmed he was overpaid

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nissan to discuss CEO’s resignation after Saikawa confirmed he was overpaid
  • Nissan Motor Co's nominating committee to discuss Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa's resignation
  • Committee to look at possible successors at a meeting today: Reuters

Nissan Motor Co's nominating committee will discuss Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa's resignation and possible successors at a meeting on Monday, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Saikawa has expressed his desire to resign from the troubled automaker and is not "clinging to his chair", the source said, declining to be identified because the information has not been made public.

The Nikkei newspaper earlier reported that Saikawa told reporters on Monday he wanted to "pass the baton" to the next generation as soon as possible. The executive has come under pressure since admitting last week to being improperly compensated.

The chief executive of scandal-plagued Nissan had acknowledged receiving inappropriate payments from the Japanese automaker but denied he ordered it or knew about it.

Hiroto Saikawa said an internal company investigation found he had received the money, but he would return it. "I thought everything was being carried out properly, and I didn't know anything," Saikawa had told reporters.

Nissan Motor Co said the findings from its ongoing internal investigation will be reported to the board of directors Monday, but declined to elaborate, saying the board was independent. "We have heard that share appreciation rights will also be part of this report," the company said, referring to the payments linked to Nissan share prices that executives, including Saikawa, received as bonuses.

Japanese media reports have said the dates were changed to allow the maximum amount of cashing in on the stock prices, allowing Saikawa to receive tens of millions of yen (hundreds of thousands of dollars) in dubious compensation.

The latest development comes as former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn is awaiting trial on charges of falsifying documents on deferred compensation and of breach of trust in allegedly diverting Nissan money for personal gain. He has denied wrongdoing.

Saikawa blamed what he called "the Ghosn system" at Nissan for the payments, and said the system was being reviewed.

Saikawa succeeded Ghosn and in the past was closely allied with Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades and made it one of the most successful automakers in the world.