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Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Nissan's Saikawa not fit for reappointment, proxy advisers say

Glass Lewis questions CEO's oversight of Carlos Ghosn's alleged misconduct

Nissan Motor President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa at a news conference in Yokohama on Dec. 17.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Two leading proxy advisory firms are urging Nissan Motor shareholders to vote against reappointing CEO and President Hiroto Saikawa at the June 25 general shareholders meeting, Nikkei has learned.

Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services have sent materials opposing Saikawa to clients. Saikawa was a representative director when then-Chairman Carlos Ghosn allegedly engaged in financial misconduct, Glass Lewis explained, saying it cannot confidently support him in a position of oversight over other directors.

Saikawa needs at least half of the shareholder vote at the June 25 meeting to support his reappointment. The opposition from Glass Lewis and ISS will likely affect his chances, since many institutional investors base their votes on advice from the two companies.

The development adds to the uncertainty swirling around the shareholders meeting. Alliance partner and top shareholder Renault has told Nissan that it will abstain from voting on measures to set up nominating, remuneration and auditing committees at the Japanese automaker.

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