Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn may step down image

Nissan Motor chief executive officer (CEO) Carlos Ghosn may step down before the company’s next mid-term business plan begins in about five years.

“Ghosn has said this is the last mid-term plan he’ll commit to, meaning he may not stay here for the next mid-term period,” spokesman Koji Okuda said.

“We need to prepare for his possible departure within a five-year period.”

Mr Ghosn, one of the most visible chief executive officers in Japan and credited with turning a near-bankrupt Nissan into one of the world’s most profitable car companies, noted that his mandate as member of Nissan’s board was not up for renewal until June next year.

Mr Ghosn is the longest-serving CEO at a Japanese automaker after octogenarian Osamu Suzuki, who has led Suzuki Motor since 1978.

“Top resignations in Japan tend to have less impact than those abroad because Japanese companies are run collegially, but Nissan is clearly different,” said Koji Endo, an auto analyst at Advanced Research Japan.

“Ghosn’s retirement would mean the loss of a strong decision maker for the time being.”

Nissan’s next annual general meeting of shareholders is on Tuesday.