TOKYO – The president and chief executive officer of Nissan Motor, Hiroto Saikawa, said on Thursday he was overpaid owing to an equity-linked remuneration scheme, after company auditors found the amount paid was too high.
Saikawa was overpaid by tens of millions of yen under a stock appreciation rights scheme that allows some executives to receive a payment linked to the company’s share performance.
Saikawa received a higher payment than he was entitled to because the execution date of those rights was changed to a date when the share price was higher.
The change netted Saikawa about 47 million yen ($401,000) in additional payments, according to Greg Kelly, the former Nissan executive in charge of the payment calculation.
Saikawa told reporters he would return the extra payment, and that he was not the only executive to have received one, local news agency Kyodo reported.
Nissan believes the overpayment did not violate any Japanese law but could have breached the company’s internal regulations, Kyodo added, citing an anonymous source.
The matter will be raised at Nissan’s shareholders’ meeting at the end of September and the automaker said it will examine whether any disciplinary action is necessary.
Nissan’s shares opened down at the Tokyo stock market on Thursday, but closed up 1.98 percent, possibly owing to Saikawa’s prompt response to the allegations and the positive effect on Japanese exports of the vote by the United Kingdom’s parliament to block a no-deal Brexit and the prospect of a new round of trade talks between China and the United States in October.
Kelly is accused by Japanese prosecutors of under-reporting former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s compensation. Kelly has said he is innocent.
In addition to charges relating to under-reporting his salary and offsetting personal losses to Nissan, Ghosn also faces accusations of allegedly concealing share price-linked incentive compensation.