Carlos Ghosn Gives The Nissan CEO Role To Hiroto Saikawa

Born in Brazil and cutting his teeth at Michelin and Renault, the 62-year-old Carlos Ghosn is one of the most successful CEOs the automotive world has ever seen. Appointed big kahuna of Nissan in 2001, Ghosn took the decision to take one step back and let Hiroto Saikawa, the automaker’s current co-CEO, take the chief executive officer role as of April 1, 2017.
Carlos Ghosn and Hiroto Saikawa 3 photos
Photo: Nissan
Carlos GhosnHiroto Saikawa
This, however, doesn’t mean that Ghosn is preparing to retire and sip on a Mai Tai on a Mediterranean beach. Instead, Mr. Ghosn will continue to serve the company as chairman of the board of directors. In June, the Brazilian will also seek a renewal of his mandate at the general shareholders meeting.

"I am confident that the management team I have developed at Nissan over the past 18 years has the talent and experience to meet the company's operational and strategic goals,”
he said. “Having recently taken on new responsibilities at Mitsubishi Motors, and taking into consideration the upcoming Nissan general shareholders meeting, I have decided that the time is right for Hiroto Saikawa to succeed me as Nissan's CEO."

As a brief refresher, Nissan acquired Mitsubishi Motors in the wake of the 2016 emissions scandal that brought the outfit to its knees. Now that Mitsubishi jumped on the bandwagon, the Renault-Nissan Alliance should be seen as a three-party effort. And naturally, Ghosn will help align Mitsubishi with the existing members of the alliance and vice versa. It’s no easy task, mind you, but still, don’t forget that Mr. Ghosn is a one-man show.

In the first year of the Nissan Revival Plan, the guy managed to turn around a consolidated net loss of $6.46 billion into a consolidated net profit after tax of $2.7 billion. Twelve months is all he needed to turn Nissan back to profitability, which speaks volumes about Carlos’ proficiency.

His successor, Hiroto Saikawa, joined Nissan in 1977. His first important role came in 2003, when Hiroto was appointed the senior vice president of the Japanese company. "I would like to thank Mr. Ghosn and the Nissan board for entrusting me with this new responsibility,” he said.

“Under Mr. Ghosn's chairmanship and with the support of the excellent leadership team that has been built at Nissan, my focus will be delivering our company's continued performance and development and on continuing Nissan's contribution to the success of the Alliance,"
added Mr. Saikawa.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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