Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer, Yasuhiro Yamauchi is appointed as the acting CEO as the current Chief Hiroto Saikawa resigns after he admitted to being improperly overpaid and marking further upheaval at a company battered by scandal and plunging profit.
Saikawa resignation marks a dramatic early exit for a man who had been tasked with righting the automaker following the arrest and ouster of former chairman Carlos Ghosn late last year on charges of financial misconduct, which Ghosn denies.
As reported earlier in People Matters, the Nissan’s board has started to review succession plans for the company. As Renault SA is one of the biggest investors and partners of Nissan, the pressure to put in place a robust succession plan in order to find the right replacement for Saikawa is also mounting.
In June, Nissan shareholders voted in favor of various measures including the establishment of three new oversight committees responsible for the appointment of senior officials, pay issues and auditing. Among the candidates to be the next CEO are non-Japanese, women, and those hailing from Renault, the chairman of Nissan's nomination committee, Masakazu Toyoda shared in media.
Yasuhiro Yamauchi was named COO of Nissan Motor in May 2019, and Director and representative executive officer in June 2019. Previously, Yamauchi was responsible for leading global manufacturing and R&D, as well as purchasing, manufacturing, supply chain management, R&D and connected vehicle and mobility services for the Alliance.
Yamauchi began his career at NML in 1981 and has held several management positions at NML’s purchasing department, as well as at RNPO. He joined RNPO in April 2008 as senior vice president in charge of purchasing.
Yamauchi graduated from International Christian University, in Tokyo, Japan in 1981 where he majored in social science.