Business

Nissan and Renault to prevent next leader from having too much power over auto alliance

KYODO

Nissan Motor Co. has agreed with partner Renault SA to improve the governance of their alliance by preventing a top executive from having too much power, apparently reflecting the arrest of their former boss Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa and new Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard held their second day of talks in Japan on Friday, discussing the future of the alliance after Ghosn was ousted from Nissan and resigned from his post at Renault in the wake of his arrests for alleged financial misconduct at the Japanese automaker.

The meeting came amid underlying tensions over who will become Nissan’s chairman, the post Ghosn had held prior to his jailing in November.

Nissan hopes to avoid a repeat of the Renault chairman also assuming its chairmanship, as had been the case with Ghosn, while Renault apparently wants to lead the alliance by having Senard double as Nissan chairman, sources close to the matter said.

“We agreed that the management should focus on doing jobs that continuously improve the value (of the alliance),” Saikawa told reporters after the meeting at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama.

Also Friday, Nissan’s governance committee concluded that the system that allowed Ghosn to have too much power is to blame for his alleged misconduct, the sources said, in a move that indicates Nissan’s willingness to block Renault’s plans.

Nissan has said it intends to appoint its new chairman based on proposals by the seven-member committee, which will submit a report by the end of next month.

Senard is expected to be appointed to Nissan’s board at an extraordinary shareholders meeting in April.