Nissan CEO Saikawa resigns amid pay probe

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa on Monday announced he would stand down next week, after acknowledging that he had received dubious income, the automaker has said.

The 65-year-old, who took over as CEO only in 2017, is set to leave the Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer on September 16.

The move comes after an internal investigation found Saikawa had received excess pay after altering the terms of a bonus, a board statement released on Monday said. Saikawa is suspected of adding 47 million yen (€398,000, $440,000) to his compensation under a scheme according to which directors can earn a bonus if their company’s share price rises beyond a certain level in a set time.

While Nissan officials maintain that Saikawa did not commit any illegal acts, they said that he should not have given the task to a junior executive.

“At the end of the day, the operation which should have been carried out by the president himself was … delegated to others, which is a violation of the rules,” said Motoo Nagai, a Nissan board member.

Saikawa admitted that while he was “not proud” of passing the task on to a company secretariat, he said his actions were “totally different from the intentional wrongdoing that was uncovered” during the internal Nissan investigation into disgraced former CEO Carlos Ghosn and US executive Greg Kelly.

Deutsche Welle | September 10th, 2019