Nissan CEO Saikawa nocked off his pins himself
After admitting to having received an undue bonus several years ago, Nissan’s CEO and successor to Ghosn, Hiroto Saikawa, steps down himself now. His resignation will be effective on September 16th. According to analysts, Nissan should ask more than a simple reimbursement and some excuses.
For months now, this boss with short hair and thin glasses was on a hot seat. He took the position of CEO, succeeding to Carlos Ghosn, more by default than after internal elections after accusing his former boss.
On many occasions, shareholders tried to kick him out though. He was deemed too associated with the Ghosn era. This week, after admitting to having received an undue bonus several years ago – a minor offense compared to Ghosn’s allegations – Hiroto Saikawa gave his resignation. It should be active on September 16th.
“I feel a deep disappointment, frustration, even despair, indignation, and resentment,” said Saikawa last November after Ghosn’s arrest. Graduated from Tokyo University, Hiroto Saikawa joined Nissan back in 1977. He quickly rose to the top under Ghosn’s wings. The ex-CEO was planning his replacement, and he was going to be Japanese.
Mr. Saikawa is known for his fervour in business. Contrary to Japanese culture, he doesn’t hesitate to cut costs and negotiate prices with suppliers. An action that was seen as good in the eye of the ‘cost-cutter’ (i.e., Ghosn) but that gave Saikawa a lousy reputation within Nissan.
In spite of the respect he certainly has for his mentor, Mr. Saikawa still holds some grudges. He particularly didn’t appreciate Ghosn’s approach to the illicit checks of vehicles in Japan.
Attorney Nobuo Gohara, who has been analyzing Nissan since Ghosn left, thinks Hiroto Saikawa shouldn’t get off that easily. He explains that the current CEO should get asked more than a simple reimbursement and some excuses when Ghosn risks many years of imprisonment.