Home GRASP GRASP/Japan Carlos Ghosn, Executive Who Revived Nissan, Will Step Aside

Carlos Ghosn, Executive Who Revived Nissan, Will Step Aside

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Mr. Ghosn, a rare foreign executive in Japan, took control of the Japanese automaker in 2001 and helped save it from collapse with large job cuts.
TOKYO — Carlos Ghosn is stepping aside as the chief executive of Nissan Motor, more than 15 years after he took control of the Japanese automaker and helped save it from collapse, becoming in the process a rare and celebrated foreign executive in Japan.
Nissan said on Thursday that Mr. Ghosn, who is 62 and was born in Brazil, would remain chairman of Nissan’s board. He will continue to lead the global automobile alliance created during his tenure at Nissan, which also includes Renault of France and, since last year, Mitsubishi Motors of Japan.
By pulling back from day-to-day control of Nissan, Mr. Ghosn ends years of speculation about the company’s succession plans. Some analysts and investors had grown concerned that he was overstretched with his multiple roles.
Nissan said its new chief executive would be Hiroto Saikawa, a 40-year company veteran who had served as Nissan’s “chief competitive officer” and had led its operations in North America. Mr. Saikawa was appointed co-chief executive with Mr. Ghosn last year, a move widely seen as the beginning of a change in leadership.
Mr. Saikawa also leads the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, the trade group representing Japanese carmakers.
“I have decided that the time is right” for Mr. Saikawa to take over as Nissan’s C. E. O., Mr. Ghosn said in a statement.
“As Nissan’s chairman,” he said, “I will continue to supervise and guide the company, both independently and within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

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