Business / Corporate

Nissan governance committee to propose limits on chairman post

Kyodo

Nissan Motor Co.’s third-party governance committee will propose reducing the power of the chairman post following the dismissal of Carlos Ghosn, who exercised strong influence over the alliance with Renault SA, sources said Sunday.

The committee was set up after the arrest of Ghosn, who is awaiting trial for alleged financial misconduct, as the current leadership of the Japanese automaker believes that the concentration of power could lead to its abuse.

Ghosn served as chairman overseeing the alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the third partner in the world’s second-largest auto alliance group, and chaired Nissan’s board.

The committee comprising a lawyer, a former business lobby chief and Nissan’s outside directors, will also propose a breakup of the chairman’s role of alliance coordination and Nissan’s management, recommending an outside director chair the board, the sources said.

The committee is expected to finalize a report on its recommendations by the end of March for review at a board meeting in April.

Nissan is reviewing its organizational structure and selecting key personnel for approval at the regular shareholders meeting in June.

Nissan has said it intends to appoint its new chairman based on proposals by the governance committee.

Renault, backed by the French government, is seeking to have its chairman Dominique Senard double as Nissan chairman as had been the case with Ghosn.

Renault holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan with voting rights but the Japanese firm holds only a 15 percent stake in the French company without voting rights.

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

Renault is against Nissan’s attempts to reduce its hold on the alliance, while Nissan is aiming to have a greater say in the alliance.

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