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Advisors oppose Nissan chief's reappointment

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Christian Fernsby |
President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa
Asia   President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa

Shareholders in embattled Nissan Motor are being urged to reject the reappointment of President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

The advice comes from 2 influential US consultancies.

Analysts at leading proxy advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services, or ISS, issued their assessment in a client note ahead of Nissan's general shareholders' meeting set for June 25.

They say Saikawa's reappointment is "not considered appropriate".

The reason they give is he served as a key lieutenant to former chairman Carlos Ghosn, who has been charged with financial misconduct.

Another leading proxy advisory firm, Glass Lewis, has also told Nissan shareholders it cannot confidently support Saikawa.

It says he overlooked Ghosn's alleged misconduct.

Saikawa needs at least half the shareholder vote to back his reappointment.

A question now is to what extent institutional investors will influence the outcome, since many of them base their votes on advice from the 2 consultancies.

Nissan's French partner Renault has indicated it may abstain from a vote on the Japanese automaker's plans to reform its corporate governance.

Renault is a major Nissan shareholder and its abstention could block any changes.

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