With Ghosn Gone, Nissan CEO Allegedly Changes Mind About Retirement

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
with ghosn gone nissan ceo allegedly changes mind about retirement

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 08, 2019

    "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.

  • JoDa JoDa on Mar 09, 2019

    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.

    • See 3 previous
    • Stuki Stuki on Mar 09, 2019

      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.

  • RICK Lou, not sure about panthers and Cougars , BUT at 76,I now consider myself a vintage Rolls Canardly. I roll down one hill and Canardly get up the next! Wishing you a Very Happy, Merry HanaKwanzaMas. 🎅🎄
  • Lou_BC The dealbreaker for me is the $80k starting price in Canada.
  • Zipper69 The Grenadier was designed ground up to be a "better Land Rover" and by most press accounts comes close.What little we know about the Quartermaster it's clear that it's intended for serious off road work without additional aftermarket fettling needed.The price is clearly a barrier, but IF it's the real deal, it will have a slot in the market.
  • Michael Charging more for less. Hmmmm
  • FreedMike Meanwhile, over at Nissan, you can get a perfectly nice, well equipped Frontier four-door that has a V-6, 4wd, and is capable of all the "truck stuff" you could ever want for $36,000. And unlike the "pay over sticker or go f**k yourself" nonsense you get at the Toyota place, the Nissan store will probably happily make you a nice deal.