Nissan chief executive Resigns, Successor to be Named

Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa tendered his resignation Monday after acknowledging that he had received dubious income and vowed to pass the leadership of the Japanese automaker to a new generation.

Board member Yasushi Kimura told reporters at an evening news conference at company headquarters in Yokohama that the board has approved Saikawa’s resignation, effective Sept. 16, and a successor will be appointed next month. A search is underway, he added.

Calls for Saikawa’s resignation, which arose after the arrest last year of his predecessor, Carlos Ghosn, on various financial misconduct allegations, have grown louder after Saikawa acknowledged last week that he had received dubious payments.

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The income was linked to the stock price of Nissan Motor Co., and he has said his pay got inflated by illicitly adjusting the date for cashing in.

The automaker’s board met to look into the allegations against Saikawa, as well as other issues related to Ghosn’s allegations and corporate ethics at the company.

Kimura said the income Saikawa had received was confirmed as “not illegal.”

Ghosn, who is out on bail and awaiting trial, says he’s innocent.

Kimura and three other board members, who all have backgrounds outside the company, said their investigation of the scandal over Ghosn’s arrest found that alleged misconduct by Ghosn and Greg Kelly, a former board member who was also arrested, had caused 35 billion yen ($350 million) in damage to the company.

Nissan will seek a repayment of the damages, Kimura said.

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