Nissan Probe Finds Executives, Including Ceo Saikawa, Received Improper Payments

Nissan Probe Finds Executives, Including CEO Saikawa, Received Improper Payments

An internal Nissan investigation has revealed that CEO Hiroto Saikawa, alongside other executives, were overpaid under a scheme allegedly organized by former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Reuters reports that Saikawa addressed reporters on Thursday morning admitting that he had wrongly received stock-related compensation under Ghosn’s scheme and pledged to will return these funds.

A source within Nissan asserts that the improper payments, including tens of millions of yen that Saikawa received through Nissan’s stock appreciation (SAR) scheme, were addressed earlier this week during a meeting of Nissan’s audit committee. The same source added that an upcoming board meeting will discuss possible disciplinary action.

Also Read: Nissan Re-Appoints Hiroto Saikawa As CEO In Revamped Board

Nissan has released a statement asserting that the findings from its investigation will be submitted to its board on September 9.

News about Nissan executives receiving improper compensation comes at a sensitive time for the company, after Saikawa pledged to improve governance following the arrest of Ghosn last year.

The Japanese car manufacturer launched its internal probe after a Japanese magazine published accusations from former director Greg Kelly in June, who alleged that Saikawa had been granted an exception in 2013 to reschedule a stock-linked bonus that increased his payout by 47 million yen ($445,962).

Nissan alliance partner Renault has declined to comment on the matter, but there is a chance the compensation news could exacerbate tensions between the two automakers following Saikawa’s refusal to back a full Nissan-Renault merger as well as a potentially industry-altering deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).