Hiroto Saikawa has become the new chief executive officer of Nissan, replacing Carlos Ghosn, who will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors.
The decision follows Ghosn’s leadership of the recent expansion of the Renault-Nissan Alliance to include Mitsubishi Motors.
As chairman of all three companies, and as CEO of the Renault Group, Ghosn wishes to focus more of his attention on the expansion and stewardship of the alliance.
Ghosn said: “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.
“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.”
He continued: “As Nissan’s chairman, I will continue to supervise and guide the company, both independently and within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. This planned change will also allow me to devote more time and energy to managing the strategic and operational evolution and expansion of the alliance and ensuring that all its members benefit from the competitive advantages that its scale will deliver.
“I am committed to supporting the alliance as it evolves and expands, and will continue to serve each member of the Alliance wherever and whenever necessary.”
Saikawa (pictured) currently serves as Nissan’s co-CEO and a representative director. Between April 2013 and October 2016, he was Nissan’s chief competitive officer.
He joined Nissan in 1977, and since 1999 he has served in a variety of senior management positions, including chairman of the management committees of the Americas and Europe, as well as the executive vice president of purchasing.
In addition to his responsibilities at Nissan, Saikawa is the current Chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). He previously served as a member of the board of directors of Renault between 2006 and 2016.
Saikawa said: “I would like to thank Mr Ghosn and the Nissan board for entrusting me with this new responsibility.
“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.”