YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan Motor Co. still doesn’t know who will succeed former Chairman Carlos Ghosn after its independent directors failed to come to an agreement on a candidate, the company said on Monday.
The three independent directors have met twice since Nov. 22 to nominate a candidate for chairman of the board of directors, following Ghosn’s arrest on Nov. 19 in the wake of allegations of financial misdeeds.
Nissan also said it was forming a committee to suggest changes to the company’s corporate governance to improve oversight of director compensation.
The committee includes a former judge and a retired business executive, and will offer suggestions for changes at Nissan by the end of March. “We expect tough recommendations from the special committee,” Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa said.
Ghosn had almost sole authority to set the compensation of senior officials at Nissan. Nissan alleges that Ghosn hid plans to pay himself around $80 million in deferred compensation, and believes he should have declared that compensation in financial reports.
Ghosn and Nissan were indicted by Tokyo prosecutors on Dec. 10 for allegedly understating his compensation by around $44 million over a five-year period ending March 2015.
A person familiar with Ghosn’s legal defense says Ghosn continues to maintain his innocence.
Prosecutors signaled further charges could be ahead, saying they suspected Ghosn and his a top aide, Greg Kelly, made similar misstatements in Nissan financial reports for the three years ended March 2018. Prosecutors suspect the understatements were $38 million for those three years, bringing the total unreported income for the eight years through March 2018 to more than $80 million.