Nissan to propose bigger role for external directors

by SpeedLux
Nissan Micra Gen5 images

A committee tasked with renovating corporate governance at Nissan Motor is expected to recommend on Wednesday a bigger role for external directors in supervising the Japanese automaker after Carlos Ghosn’s arrest and ouster as chairman.

The independent panel will declare the results of its three-month audit of Nissan’s governance-related procedures, as the automaker seeks to draw a line under a near two-decade-long duration during which Ghosn wielded outsized influence in his multiple roles as its chairman and CEO for much of that time.

To decentralize the power structure at the automaker, the seven-member committee will likely also suggest that the company establish committees for board member nominations, auditing and for figuring out executive pay, according to a person knowledgeable with the matter.

It may also recommend splitting the positions of company chairman, a function held by veteran leading executives, and chairman of the board, who presides over board meetings, and that the latter position must be held by an external director.

The committee was not immediately available for discussion, but has earlier declined to discuss the matter. It is going to hold a briefing on Wednesday evening to release the recommendations.

Similar to the executives at many Japanese automakers, Ghosn held both chairmanship positions at the automaker, adding to his impact at the automaker.

Nissan has stated that too much power had been focused on Ghosn, one of the most feted executives in the global auto industry who orchestrated Nissan’s financial recovery in the early 2000s and created the blueprint for the automaking alliance between Nissan and French automaker Renault.

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