Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa Resigns Over Improper Pay Scandal

Hiroto Saikawa resigns
[Photo: Nissan]

Saikawa will step down September 16.

Nissan’s turmoil in the wake of the Carlos Ghosn scandal claims its next victim, the company’s current CEO Hiroto Saikawa. He will exit on September 16, after Nissan’s board voted unanimously to oust him after a new scandal erupted around Saikawa’s overpayment through the company’s stock appreciation scheme, according to a Bloomberg report.

Nissan ultimately overpaid Saikawa by 90 million yen, or $841,000, through stock bonuses. Last week, reports suggested Saikawa and other Nissan executives were overpaid through the scheme. As he resigned at the behest of Nissan’s board of directors, he spoke to reporters on this latest incident. “I should have clarified, ironed out everything and handed my baton over to a successor, but I couldn’t finish everything,” he said. “I wanted to set things to right and resign.”

Before becoming CEO, Hiroto Saikawa started at Nissan in 1977. He spent most of his career in the company’s purchasing department, and also served on the board at French automaker and alliance partner Renault between 2006 and 2016.

Saikawa’s tenure at Nissan was nothing short of a rocky one. He had been Ghosn’s protégé before ultimately becoming his successor. Now, as he was one of the critical voices in the wake of Ghosn’s arrest, he too is caught up in his own improper payments scandal.

Nissan will replace Saikawa with company Chief Operating Officer Yasuhiro Yamauchi. From there, the company will replace him as acting CEO, naming Saikawa’s formal successor by the end of October.