At the helm of Nissan Motors since 1999, when he engineered a dramatic turnaround that avoided the companys collapse, the Brazilian executive Carlos Ghosn announced his resignation as CEO. He will remain, however, at head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and other group businesses. At Nissan Motors he will be succeeded by Hiroto Saikawa, who has been at Nissan since 1977.
For Nissan, the move will mean speeding into the unknown, as wrote Masanori Murui, Nikkei (Japan) online news deputy editor, who recalled that Ghosns style could be summed up with a few-wordas, all of which starting with C: cost-cutting, cosmopolitan and charismatic.
Ghosn made radical changes at Nissan, says Jonathan Soble (The New York Times): .Sweeping aside Japanese sensitivities about protecting employees and longstanding business networks, Mr. Ghosn closed five domestic factories, cut 21,000 jobs and halved the number of Nissan parts suppliers, cementing the nickname he acquired in France, Le Cost Killer.
Theres a point in time where you have to be realistic about how much things you do and you can do well. This is the trigger, Ghosn said at Nissans headquarters in Yokohama on Thursday. Theres a moment when you have to pass the baton to someone else. Ive always said I would love to have a Japanese to be my successor and Saikawa-san is somebody I have been grooming for many years.