November 26, 2018 / 6:10 AM / 14 days ago

Nissan says CEO did not mention need to review alliance equity structure

FILE PHOTO - Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa attends a news conference after Japanese media reported that Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn will be arrested on suspicion of under-reporting his salary, at the company headquarters in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co said Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa did not mention a need to review the automaker’s equity partnership with French partner Renault SA at a town hall meeting he held with staff on Monday morning.

Nissan made the comment after the Nikkei business daily quoted Saikawa as telling employees that Nissan’s “tie-up relationship with Renault was not on an equal basis”, noting that Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan, while the Japanese firm holds a non-voting 15 percent in Renault.

A Nissan spokesman said Saikawa had mentioned an excessive concentration of power in one person - Carlos Ghosn - who is CEO and chairman of Renault and was, until his ousting last Thursday, also chairman of Nissan.

That had discouraged the other board members of Renault and Nissan from communicating directly with each other, instead escalating decisions to Ghosn, the spokesman quoted Saikawa as telling staff.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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