Nissan to choose new chairman to replace Ghosn

Nissan CEO Saikawa would solidify his power if he becomes chairman too.

UPDATED: 2/04/18 8:09 am ET – adds details

TOKYO — Nissan’s independent board members failed on Tuesday to nominate a successor to Carlos Ghosn as chairman in the wake of his arrest and dismissal for alleged financial misconduct, Reuters and Kyodo News reported.

A three-member panel of external Nissan directors put off a decision on recommending a replacement for the jailed Ghosn, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Nissan has tasked former trade and industry bureaucrat Masakazu Toyoda, retired Renault executive Jean-Baptiste Duzan and race car driver Keiko Ihara with the selection, which is to be submitted to the rest of the board at their next meeting on Dec. 17.

Their choice to replace the ousted car titan, who sits in a Japanese jail, will indicate the direction the automaker’s alliance with Renault will take.

The most likely successors fall on each end of the spectrum: Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, who has emerged as a driving force behind the investigation into Ghosn’s financial reporting, and Toshiyuki Shiga, a former Ghosn confidante, sources said.

Nissan earlier rejected external candidates suggested by Renault, Bloomberg reported. The independent directors have said they will choose an existing board member as the next chairman.

At stake is the direction of the world’s biggest car alliance between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, as differences surface among the companies that Ghosn’s leadership held together.



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