TOKYO – The Nissan Motor board of directors announced on Tuesday that it has appointed Makoto Uchida, senior vice president of the group, as the company’s new CEO replacing Hiroto Saikawa.
Saikawa left the post on 16 September, following a series of financial operations that the firm’s management considered inadequate, although not illegal, months after a scandal erupted surrounding former president Carlos Ghosn.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Nissan Motor also announced that the board of directors had made other appointments in the management of the group, including Ashwani Gupta as chief of operations.
The statement included words from the chairman of Nissan’s board of directors Yasushi Kimura who said Uchida was the “right leader” to boost the group’s operations, which have suffered a significant decline in sales in key markets such as the US.
He added that the board expects Uchida to lead the company as a team, focus immediately on the recovery of the business and revitalize the company.
The appointments will be effective no later than 1 January, the statement added.
Uchida, 53, was linked to Nissan Motor in 2003 and has served as senior vice president of the company since 2018.
He was leading the group’s operations in China.
Saikawa had already announced his intention to leave the presidency of Nissan Motor once the waters were calmed after the turbulence linked to the arrest on November 19, 2018 of Carlos Ghosn, who is facing prosecution in Tokyo for financial irregularities.
His departure accelerated when it became known at the beginning of September that he had taken economic advantage by unduly inflating a salary bonus with company shares manipulating the terms and payment date.
Although the board of directors of Nissan Motor considered that those actions were not illegal, it was decided that they were serious enough to ask Saikawa on September 9 to leave his post dated September 16.