Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa Resigns Over Improper Payments

Nissan’s Board of Directors announced that the company’s CEO Hiroto Saikawa will step down from his position on September 16. Nissan’s COO Yasuhiro Yamauchi will fill in as acting CEO until a new full-time CEO steps in.

Nissan’s Board of Directors asked Saikawa to resign from his CEO position and he accepted, after an internal investigation revealed that Saikawa received improper payments through the company’s stock appreciation scheme.

According to Bloomberg, Saikawa was overpaid by 90 million yen ($841,000) via stock appreciation rights. Saikawa admitted that he and several other Nissan executives received improper payments.

Also Read: Nissan Probe Finds Executives, Including CEO Saikawa, Received Improper Payments

Nissan Chairman Yasushi Kimura said that they aim to find a full-time replacement by the end of October.

The soon-to-be former Nissan CEO has been under mounting pressure for the past couple of days as reports revealed the improper payments to himself and other executives.

Nissan launched its internal probe after a Japanese magazine published accusations from former director Greg Kelly in June, who alleged that Saikawa had been granted an exception in 2013 to reschedule a stock-linked bonus that increased his payout by 47 million yen ($445,962).

Saikawa was re-appointed as CEO in Nissan’s revamped Board of Directors last June, also despite growing concern about his oversight during the time of Carlos Ghosn’s alleged financial misconduct. Saikawa served as co-CEO with Ghosn before taking over control as CEO in 2017.

According to local media, Nissan is considering ditching the stock appreciation rights system, which was first established in 2003 as an incentive for managers.

Hiroto-Saikawa-Nissan-CEO-2

  • atomicbri

    Is he going to be arrested as well??

    • Toronado_II

      Yeah, jail for everyone ?

      Everything going wrong for Nissan these days…

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        At least they’ve got a great range of cars.

    • William rowe

      He should be, if ghosn is going to go to jail for the same thing, so should Hiroto Saikawa but he won’t because sending Ghosn to jail has always been about preventing Nissan from being merged with a foreign company outside of japan. It was the only way Nissan insiders knew to stop Ghosn.. Well if Jail is good enough for ghosn then it’s more then good enough for Hiroto Saikawa

  • Stephen G

    WOW! Will the conspiracy against Nissan ever end? LOL

  • charlotteharry57

    Ok, here we go on the “hot topic” of the week. While Ghosn was clearly bad for Nissan, this guy was no gem either. After taking over for Ghosn, all he did was put blinders on and refuse to acknowledge that Nissan is no Toyota or Honda. Prices rose, discounts tanked and now inventory of unsold vehicles is absurdly high. The successor needs to recognize that Nissans sell on price, mainly. Fixing the financial predicament MUST take this into account. Perhaps Nissan quality and content has risen a lot, but it will take YEARS for public perception to change.

    • Nastinupe1911

      Nissan is the FCA of Japan.

  • William rowe

    No No No no, arrest Hiroto Saikawa , he does not deserve retirement , he deserves prison. Lock him up

  • Six_Tymes

    While Ghosn was clearly the best person Nissan has ever had, It’s sad he is not part anymore. A guilty person resigns, at least he did that right.

  • Charles Chin

    ROFL, whos next?

  • designer_dick

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll doubtless say it again – Ghosn isn’t any more guilty of wrongdoing or criminal conduct than Saikawa, but someone, somewhere decided that Ghosn was going to be their scapegoat because he had the audacity to try and merge Nissan with the company that saved its bacon.

  • DetrinKD

    This is never ending… If they’re not going to arrest Saikawa, then they should release Ghosn and drop criminal charges. It has become way too apparent this was some kind of corrupt coup. I am personally NOT a fan of where Ghosn took Nissan as a brand and don’t get how people can say he was the best thing to happen to Nissan… it started out that way, but he definitely drove the image of the brand into the gutter chasing market share and forcing unreliable CVTs down everyone’s throats. But despite that, it’s simply not fair for them to arrest and hold him in horrible conditions and Saikawa just has to resign. I’m all for fair treatment but also a better/healthier Nissan.

    • WalthamDan

      Ghosn’s actions will take years and numerous model cycles to eradicate, if they can be.

      The CVTs have got to go!

      • DetrinKD

        The new JUKE doesn’t use one, so that could signal them easing up on the CVTs. Hopefully.

        At this point Nissan needs to focus on designing nothing less than class-leading products to prove they can still make good cars because the shenanigans going on in upper management causes some doubts and concerns.

        The JUKE looks to be a pretty solid product, honestly the Versa, for what it is, as well. Hopefully this translates to the their higher-end models.

  • TB

    Wow….Nissan needs to clean house….badly!

  • Mr. EP9

    Nissan is just an absolute mess, ain’t they? Renault needs to dump the dead weight and be better off without them. Nissan sucks and their cars are garbage.

  • Ben

    Goodness, Nissan seems to be in perpetual turmoil.

  • Tan Lee

    This guy needs to get assassinated by the yakuza. He is the cause of all the mess Nissan is in right now.

  • SteersUright

    Greedy, corrupt execs steal and then simply resign and walk away leaving thousands of employees with a shaky future. This practice has to stop. These execs must be prosecuted and dealt with harshly to discourage this ongoing, unchecked & unethical culture among c-levels in business worldwide.

  • ph

    Pretty much what we all figured, a corporate coup not a smoking gun. An established policy made Carlos a criminal, but others walk free. Personally I think Nissan’s misfortunes are not only poor engineering, but their disgraceful treatment of Carlos. I don’t like it because it’s obvious their leadership hates foreigners and wanted to keep the money for themselves. Their woes are a worldwide problem which isn’t going away any time soon. Nissan didn’t want to admit how financially crippled they were years ago and they should have went away entirely. Also their only new car is a redesigned Versa for the us. Pure junk.

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