By on March 8, 2019

Nissan’s Chief Executive Officer, Hiroto Saikawa, apparently intends to stick around a little longer than previously expected. According to unnamed Nissan staffers who spoke to Bloomberg, the CEO told executives he plans to stay at least three more years to help the automaker recover from the aftermath of the scandal involving Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance head Carlos Ghosn — despite recently signalling his intent step down in the near future.

Saikawa was hand-picked by Ghosn as Nissan CEO in 2017. However, the two grew increasingly distant as talk of a potential merger with alliance partner Renault began to swell. In fact, Ghosn was actively working toward combining the companies up until his November arrest — which he attributed to interference from Nissan.

While still incarcerated, Ghosn admitted he was not pleased with Saikawa’s performance, and had been considering removing him from his role within the company. The Nissan CEO had taken a hardline stance against the merger, choosing to support Japanese interests first. 

He also lost face over Nissan’s final inspection scandal, which led to work stoppages and the recall of roughly one million vehicles. However, legal actions taken against the defamed Alliance head made Saikawa’s removal an impossibility. Ghosn is now more concerned with doing battle with the brick wall that is Japan’s legal system. But that does not necessarily guarantee Saikawa another three years with Nissan.

From Bloomberg:

Regardless of Saikawa’s plans, there’s no guarantee he will stay on in the CEO role if the company’s performance takes a serious hit from the Ghosn scandal or there is some unforeseen legal exposure for the company.

However, cementing Saikawa’s position as the long-term head of Nissan could make it harder for France’s Renault SA to push for deeper ties with its Japanese partner. While Ghosn ran the boards of both Renault and Nissan, and was working toward combining the companies until his arrest, Saikawa has spoken strongly against a merger and has emerged as a defender of Japanese interests.

[Image: Nissan]

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17 Comments on “With Ghosn Gone, Nissan CEO Allegedly Changes Mind About Retirement...”


  • avatar
    TKewley

    Internal politics at Nissan is clearly not a game for the faint of heart…

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    As the church lady used to say, “Well, how convenient!!!”

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Corporate board scheming and back stabbing is not the sole property of American companies.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      Absolutely. Looks like Nissan was in no mood to be subservient to Renault.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Also Ghosn was crooked, with him mis-usuing company funds.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Biro

          Oh? You know this to be a fact? Perhaps we should have the Japanese authorities contact you.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            There are multiple cases of where he used company resources for private gain. He isn’t the only one but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be charged.
            His spoilt family are trying to make this a human rights case, even though his treatment is in line with Japanese law.
            Shame some from the financial crash in 2008 we’re not treated in accordance with Japanese law – we are unaccoustomed to seeing criminal CEOs treated like other criminals.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            There are multiple cases of where he used company resources for private gain. He isn’t the only one but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be charged.
            His spoilt family are trying to make this a human rights case, even though his treatment is in line with Japanese law.
            Shame some from the financial crash in 2008 were not treated in accordance with Japanese law – we are unaccoustomed to seeing criminal CEOs treated like other criminals.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      never has been. Japanese business culture (and laws) allow for a tremendous amount of collusion, backroom deals, and the like which would have the DOJ breathing down the neck of any American company doing them.

      why do you think there have been multiple cases of Japanese parts suppliers being busted for price fixing? What we call “illegal collusion” and “price fixing,” over there they just consider them “gentlemen’s agreements.”

  • avatar
    jatz

    Ha ha.. we maybe dying off but gaijin steer roose in dai nippon!

    Tenno heika.. etc.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “to help the automaker recover from the aftermath of the scandal involving Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance head Carlos Ghosn”

    Recover how? What a bogus statement. I think he’s afraid Mr Ghosn might sing like a canary and beat the rap.

  • avatar
    JoDa

    The Japanese are excellent at science and engineering…The French are excellent at, um, trying to live at the expense of everyone else, aka, Socialism.

    A merger made in Heaven, eh?

    It’s like bratty parasitic children trying to “merge” with their parent’s bank account.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Um, in case your short memory dumped any recollection of what really happened, the alliance formed because Renault had to save *Nissan* from bankruptcy.

      so what was your point again?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        True, but that was a long time ago and now Renault is the weak one and has been for some time.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          not because of the BS he was spouting, though. nevermind the fact that he derides France’s “socialism” while ignoring the fact that Japan has some pretty “socialist” programs like UHC and free education that’s actually worth a damn. oh, and definitely a lot of holidays as well and they DO take them. Worked for a few Japanese companies, trying to get hold of anyone @ the home office during Golden Week is futile.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Ghosn is more Brazilian than than French.

      You can’t fire Japanese males. They can’t even retire. This dude’s 3 years will keep getting extended and extended. Simply because, in Japan, no matter how old you get, there are noone left to take your job, that’s younger than you.


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