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Nissan-Renault alliance

Nissan CEO on shaky ground after inflated pay scandal

Misconduct raises questions over Saikawa's fitness to lead Japanese automaker

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa admitted stock plan change was inappropriate but denied involvement.

TOKYO -- Nissan Motor CEO Hiroto Saikawa, who on Thursday admitted to receiving improper compensation, may see his claim to lead the Japanese automaker fatally undermined, given that the company's former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, was ousted for similar reasons.

Saikawa is committed to restructuring the company, cutting its payroll by 12,500 by March 2023. The CEO's misstep may prompt Nissan shareholders to follow the lead of Nippon Life Insurance, an institutional investor that announced it voted against retaining Saikawa at Nissan's annual shareholders meeting in June. Saikawa's leadership is also likely to be questioned by Renault, Nissan's French partner and largest shareholder.

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