TOKYO - In a bid to streamline its decision making, Nissan Motor Co. has cut its board of directors from 37 members to 10 while simultaneously tapping 30 executives to serve as corporate officers to run the business.
The sweeping changes come amid an annual boardroom shuffle that will see numerous other promotions and retirements, including the departure of chairman Yoshifumi Tsuji and CFO Tadahiro Shirai.
In all, four of six executive vice presidents, six of 13 managing directors, and seven of 16 directors will retire. All changes were scheduled to take effect with the annual shareholders meeting June 25. (See accompanying table.)
As previously announced, three former Renault SA executives will be among the 10 board members: Carlos Ghosn, Patrick Pelata and Thierry Moulonguet. They will be Nissan's COO, executive vice president for products and corporate planning, and senior vice president and deputy CFO, respectively.
Renault paid $5.4 billion to buy 36.8 percent of Nissan and 22.5 percent of Nissan Diesel Motor Co. in late March.
By Japanese law, Renault's three board members now have veto rights over all Nissan board decisions.
Under the new structure, current President Yoshikazu Hanawa will be chairman, president and CEO.
Besides Hanawa and the former Renault executives, the other board members will be Hiroshi Moriyama, Nobuo Ohkubo, Hisayoshi Kojima, Kanemitsu Anraku, Itaru Koeda and Norio Matsumura.
Ian Gibson, president of Nissan Europe NV, will become a corporate senior vice president, but not a director.
Minoru Nakamura, president of Nissan North America Inc., is retiring from Nissan to become president of Nissan Car Leasing Co. in Japan. Nobuo Araki, president of Nissan Mexicana SA de CV, will replace Nakamura.