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Nissan stock falls after reports that a top executive is leaving

by Ace Damon
Nissan stock falls after reports that a top executive is leaving

Nissan shares fell 2.6% in Tokyo on Wednesday after several news agencies reported that a senior executive would abruptly leave the Japanese automaker.

Deputy Chief Operating Officer Jun Seki said Reuters, Bloomberg and Japanese media he plans to join Japanese manufacturer Nidec Corp. as president and COO. Nissan told CNN Business that it was aware of the reports but declined to comment. Nidec also declined to comment.

It was a tough year for Nissan. The company has been striving to recover from expulsion of former president Carlos Ghosn last year that Nissan Alliance Tension with Renault and Mitsubishi.

Nissan has also published a series of lackluster earnings quarters and in July announced plans to cut 12,500 jobs worldwide. Last month, the company also cut your sales forecast for the year and said it expects to sell fewer cars than expected for the fiscal year ending March 2020.

Reports of Seki's departure are also filed more than two months after Nissan selected a new CEO. Makoto Uchida assumed the role after Hiroto Saikawa resigned. Saikawa admitted that he and other Nissan executives were overpaid as part of a stock-related payment plan, although he denied any wrongdoing.

Bloomberg described Seki as one of the candidates to replace Saikawa before Uchida was chosen.

Japanese news source Diamond Online quoted Seki as saying he was not giving up because of problems with the alliance.

"I wouldn't say there is no confusion in management," he told Diamond. "But that's not why I'm leaving."

Seki told Reuters that Nidec, which makes specialized car parts, was an offer he could not refuse.

"I love Nissan and I feel bad leaving the recovery job unfinished," he told Reuters. "But I'm 58 years old and this is an offer I couldn't refuse. It's probably my last chance to lead a company too."

Japan's Nikkei 225, of which Nissan is a component, fell 0.1% on Wednesday morning. China's Shanghai Composite was flat.

Other major indices, including Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's Kospi, were closed for the Christmas holiday.

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