Nissan panel to recommend outside director to chair board

2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO

A Nissan Motor governance committee plans to recommend the appointment of an external director as board chairman, a role different from company chairman, in a move to decentralize power at the top level, the Nikkei business daily published on Sunday.

Under Nissan’s present corporate charter, the position of board chair is automatically appointed to head the company board, the Nikkei stated mentioning a source. Former Chairman Carlos Ghosn had filled both roles before his arrest in November for under-reporting his income.

The issue of Nissan’s chairmanship is now generally important after the Japanese automaker identified the concentration of power in one executive as one of the factors Ghosn was able to carry out his alleged financial misconduct.

There have been speculation about whether the newly appointed chairman of Renault, Jean-Dominique Senard, would assume the chairmanship of Nissan.

The Nikkei report comes after the governance committee stated that the separation between operation and oversight was one of the topics discussed on Friday at the committee’s third meeting since it was founded in December following Ghosn’s arrest.

The panel, consisting three Nissan external board directors and four third-party members, is set to make recommendations to Nissan’s board in March on how to tighten lax governance and authorization processes for matters including director compensation and chairman selection.

A spokeswoman for the committee stated it could not discuss on potential recommendations before they are submitted to the board.

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