Having admitted to being overpaid without the knowledge of Japanese automaker, Nissan, Hiroto Saikawa has resigned as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company.
Nairametrics understands that this is a major blow for Nissan whose former chairman, Carlos Ghosn got arrested on charges of understating his income by nearly half and burdening Nissan with personal investment losses amongst other financial misconducts.
The scandal: Ghosn’s case with Nissan seems to have implicated Saikawa, and other executive members of the company. An audit report uncovered that the duo had been receiving excess pay under a scheme in which directors can earn a bonus if their company’s share price rises above a certain level within a set period.
Saikawa, however, admitted to the offence, stating that he had received nearly half a million dollars in 2013 when he was the company’s Executive Vice President, in stock options which he wasn’t entitled to.
According to Nissan, former representative director Greg Kelly was said to have been deeply involved in the scandal. Kelly forged documents that showed Saikawa exercising his stock a week after he had already done so, which boosted his after-tax stock payment by 47 million yen (about $472,000 at the September 2013 exchange rate).
Nissan stated that it would not charge Saikawa or any of the directors with misconduct because they were unaware of the improper methods used by Kelly. Moreover, Saikawa has indicated that the overpaid amounts would be repaid. The other individuals who benefited from such overpayments are also being asked to repay.
Nissan is also holding Kelly responsible for approving and hiding Ghosn’s alleged illegitimate retirement payments to increase his compensation.
[READ ALSO: Here is why Facebook is under probe again]
Meanwhile, there are speculations that Nissan will sack some of its executive staff members as reports have surfaced that Christina Murray, the executive member who led the company’s audit, is also resigning. However, neither Murray nor Nissan has given details about the subject matter.