News Article

Governance overhaul vote set for Nissan shareholders

After the Carlos Ghosn scandal and while testing links with French subsidiary Renault, Nissan shareholders are scheduled for a fractious quarterly conference on Tuesday (June 25) to revamp activities at the crisis-hit Japanese automaker.

After the crisis triggered by the detention of previous chief Ghosn on various economic infringement allegations, the conference will see decisions on a sequence of changes to the Japanese vehicle company intended to bring Nissan on a more secure footing.

In addition to the financial woes of the company, total earnings in the last business year dropped to a near-decade high. For the next 12 months, the firm has already advised of a “hard business setting.”

Nissan seeks to build up three new supervisory boards to appoint key representatives, salary and review-a response to accusations that Ghosn had focused too much authority in his fingers.

But the plan hit the skids with Renault, who owns 43% of Nissan and complained that the new structure didn’t have enough input.

When Nissan proposed Renault president Jean-Dominique Senard sitting on the promotions commission and Thierry Bollore chief executive officer on the audit committee, the crisis was averted.

Renault, however, will not be depicted on the fresh salary commission-potentially expressing Japan’s long-standing rancour over Ghosn’s elevated benefits relative to most Japanese CEOs.

UNDER PRESSURE

Nissan is also requesting permission from shareholders to appoint 11 managers as it restructures itself, including the two Renault managers and present Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

Saikawa himself has fallen under stress both for Nissan’s catastrophic economic results and because that era’s heritage is seen as the Ghosn apprentice.

The Renault-Nissan alliance, together with Japanese subsidiary Mitsubishi Motors, is the world’s largest selling car organisation.

After Ghosn’s surprise detention in November, the relationship was sorely tense, soon regarded one of the industry’s most astute and robust managers.

Since then, Nissan has suspected Renault of getting too much weight in the partnership and maintaining it in the shadows about his schemes to tie up with Fiat Chrysler (FCA), which crashed over French government doubts.

“It’s not very simple to rebuild a confidence bond,” says Tatsuo Yoshida, an expert at Sawakami Asset Management.

Ghosn, who has been removed from all his positions, is pending court in Japan on allegations of under-reporting millions of USD in wages and the use of business resources for private expenditures-charges he rejects.

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