Nissan Board Set for Tense Meeting as Alleged Split Over Future Leadership Emerges

TOKYO—The board of Nissan Motor Co. will meet on Oct. 8 as a split has emerged over the scandal-hit automakers next CEO, putting the head of the nominations committee at odds with an influential executive, people familiar with the matter said.

Directors, which include those from top shareholder Renault SA, will also discuss the future of another Nissan executive, Hari Nada, multiple people said.

Nada helped oust former Chairman Carlos Ghosn but has since been hit by allegations of overpayment himself. Renault may back a proposal calling for his exit, a source close to the French automaker said.

Nissan and Renault declined to comment. Nada did not respond to requests for comment about the allegations.

The board discord at Japans second-largest carmaker illustrates how the turmoil that followed Ghosns downfall last year deepened with the departure of former CEO Hiroto Saikawa last month. Saikawa was forced to step down after he admitted to being improperly overpaid.

The internal strife also has implications for Nissans often difficult relationship with Renault.

Tension has since emerged between Masakazu Toyoda, the Princeton-educated former trade ministry official who chairs the nominations committee, and Hitoshi Kawaguchi, who is responsible for external affairs and is seen as having close ties to government, four people familiar with the situation said.

“The relationship is strained,” said one of the people, all of whom declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. Toyoda and another outside director, Motoo Nagai, were against Saikawas abrupt resignation last month, given that the board had not yet found a replacement, the person said.

The Toyoda camp believes that Kawaguchi played a role in helping to set the stage for former CEO Saikawas departure, the person said. Kawaguchi is also seen as being supportive of acting chief executive Yasuhiro Yamauchi getting the job on a permanent basis, the person said, adding that Toyoda was cautious about Yamauchi.

Focus on Nada

The nominations committee is due to meet earlier in the day at Nissans Yokohama headquarters, with the board itself due to meet in the afternoon.

Nada has come under increasing scrutiny after the New York Times reported on Oct. 6 he had received “unjust enrichment,” citing a review by an external law firm hired by the automaker.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that some Nissan lawyers said that Nada, who oversees Nissans legal dRead More – Source