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Ghosn to step down as Nissan CEO; Saikawa to take over from April

Japan's second largest automaker Nissan Motor Co on Thursday said its long-serving leader Carlos Ghosn will hand over the role of CEO to Hiroto Saikawa, a company veteran.

After leading the company for nearly two decades, Ghosn, the Chairman and CEO of Nissan at present, will focus on the functioning of "recent expansion of the Renault-Nissan Alliance to include Mitsubishi Motors". Saikawa, currently the co-CEO of Nissan, will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer on April 1, 2017, the company said in a statement.

"Ghosn will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and he will seek a renewal of his mandate at the company's general shareholders meeting in June 2017," it added. Nissan said the change at the top management is being brought about at the recommendations of Ghosn. "This planned management evolution follows Ghosn's leadership of the recent expansion of the Renault-Nissan Alliance to include Mitsubishi Motors, which positions the alliance among the top automotive groups in terms of scale," it said.

The statement further said: "As Chairman of all three Alliance companies, and as Chief Executive Officer of the Renault Group, Ghosn wishes to focus more of his attention on the expansion and stewardship of the Alliance, as its Chairman and CEO." In this role, he will ensure that the opportunities available to Alliance members are fully harnessed, it added.

Commenting on the change, 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."

He further 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 CEO."
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