The Yomiuri ShimbunNissan Motor Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa was found to have received an improperly high amount of executive compensation that was linked to the company’s stock price.
The amount is estimated to be in the tens of millions of yen, according to an in-house investigation by Nissan. The automaker will soon hold a board meeting to report the results of its investigation.
“I sincerely apologize,” Saikawa told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday morning. “I will return the difference” that was improperly paid.
The excessive payment was made through the stock-linked compensation system known as stock appreciation right (SAR) under which employees can receive in cash the increased price in company stock over a set time period.
Saikawa denied that he participated in the scheme intentionally.
“I had asked Greg Kelly and others in the secretarial division to manage it,” Saikawa said, referring to the former representative director of Nissan.
At the same time, however, Saikawa admitted that several former executives were also suspected of being involved in the scandal.
“In some cases, the company has used a different system from the original rules,” he said as a reason to why he wanted to review the compensation system.
“We’ll change the system formed in the era of Carlos Ghosn,” Saikawa said, referring to the former Nissan chairman.