TOKYO – Hiroto Saikawa stepped down from his post as chief executive officer of Nissan Motor on Monday and has been replaced by Yasuhiro Yamauchi as acting CEO.
Saikawa, 65, was appointed CEO of Nissan Motor after the arrest in Tokyo of Carlos Ghosn, who is facing allegations of financial misconduct during his tenure at the helm of the Japanese automobile group.
Although Saikawa had announced his intention to step down from his post after the turbulence caused by Ghosn’s arrest had died down, his departure was allegedly sped up by other financial irregularities involving him.
There has yet to be an official confirmation of Saikawa’s resignation as chairman and CEO of Nissan Motor but on the company’s website on Monday, Yasuhiro Yamauchi appeared as acting president and CEO.
Yamauchi, 63, who is also chief operating officer of Nissan Motor, will continue to hold that post.
The firm intends to appoint a new CEO at the end of October when the selection process is complete.
Saikawa’s resignation comes shortly after he admitted that his income had been boosted by speculating on the terms of a salary bonus which was subject to the performance of the company’s shares.
Although Nissan Motor’s board did not believe that these actions were illegal, it did consider them serious enough to ask Saikawa on Sept. 9 to step down from his position a week later.
Yamauchi joined Nissan in 1981 and became the manager of the Purchasing Administration Department in 1995. Since May, he has been chief operating officer and director and representative executive officer since June.
Yamauchi is also a member of the board of directors of French automaker, Groupe Renault, with whom Nissan Motor has had an alliance for over a decade, which was driven, among others, by Carlos Ghosn.
Renault holds 43.4 percent of Nissan Motor’s shares while the Japanese firm holds a 15 percent stake in the French company.