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Nissan picks Sakamoto as board candidate after Seki's resignation

Nissan Executive Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto poses with the carmaker's logo in the showroom at the carmaker's headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co has selected executive officer Hideyuki Sakamoto as a candidate for the board of directors, the company said on Friday, following the surprise resignation of vice-chief operating officer Jun Seki earlier this week.

Sakamoto, who was named an executive officer in June and has been an executive vice president since 2014, is responsible for manufacturing and supply chain management at Japan’s No. 2 automaker. Nissan will hold an extraordinary shareholder meeting on Feb. 18, where his appointment will be among proposals submitted for approval, it said in a press release.

Nissan needs stability as it braces for its worst annual profit in 11 years amid slumping sales in the United States and China, its biggest markets. The company is also working to repair ties with top shareholder and alliance partner Renault SA, which deteriorated following the ouster of joint chairman Carlos Ghosn a year ago.

The abrupt resignation of Seki, part of Nissan’s newly appointed three-person leadership team and the executive charged with leading the recovery plan, sent the carmaker’s shares to an eight-year low on Wednesday.

Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Louise Heavens