Nissan CEO ousted over pay scandal as turmoil at company deepens

Nissan CEO ousted over pay scandal as turmoil at company deepens Nissan Motors CEO Hiroto Saikawa speaks as he attends a press conference at the companys headquarters in Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture on November 19, 2018. - Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, one of the worlds best-known businessmen, was reportedly under arrest in Japan on November 19 in a shocking fall from grace linked to allegations of financial misconduct. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

Nissan Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa will step down over a scandal involving inflated stock-linked bonuses, deepening the crises at the Japanese automaker that have come to light since the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Saikawa, Ghosns handpicked successor as CEO, will resign as of September 16 and be replaced on an acting basis by Chief Operating Officer Yasuhiro Yamauchi.

A new CEO will be named by the end of October, the automaker said in a late-night news conference in Yokohama, near Tokyo, on Monday.

Saikawa has been facing mounting pressure following reports last week that he and other executives were paid more than they were entitled to. That was the final blow to the exiting CEO, who has spent the period since Ghosns shock arrest last November for financial crimes trying to right the carmaker as it grapples with decade-low profits, job cuts and the destabilization of losing a leader who loomed large over Nissan for two decades.

An internal investigation by the automaker found Saikawa had been overpaid by 90 million yen (US$841,000) via stock appreciation rights, including tax adjustments. Other executives also received excess pay.

Although Saikawas leadership has come under scrutiny since Ghosns arrest, he was reappointed as CEO by Nissans shareholders earlier this year.

In June, Saikawa said he should be held responsible for the turmoil at the Japanese automaker since Ghosns arrest, and he wanted the company to accelerate the search for his replacement.

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