Nissan to appoint CEO Ghosn as Mitsubishi Motors chairman: sources

Nissan to appoint CEO Ghosn as Mitsubishi Motors chairman: sources

TOKYO: Nissan Motor Co Ltd Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn will chair Mitsubishi Motors Corp after Japan’s second-biggest automaker by sales buys control of its smaller peer, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.Ghosn, nicknamed “le cost killer”, will oversee an automaker expecting an operating loss of 28 billion yen in the year to March. Behind the loss are provisions to cover any quality-related issues that arise while Mitsubishi recovers from a mileage-cheating scandal that sent its shares spiralling.The two automakers have not decided who will be president of Mitsubishi, said one person with direct knowledge of the matter and another briefed on it. Both declined to be identified ahead of formal announcements.Ghosn, who is also CEO of Nissan alliance partner Renault SA , has asked Mitsubishi Motors Chairman and President Osamu Masuko to remain president when Nissan takes over, said the Nikkei newspaper, which first reported Ghosn’s appointment. Mitsubishi’s shares rose as much as 10 percent after the report.Spokespeople at Nissan and Mitsubishi declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.LE COST KILLERGhosn earned his nickname after ordering plant closures when restructuring Renault. He later steered Nissan to profitability.”This is a man who patched up Renault in the 1990s, and he did a lot for Nissan in the 2000s, so I’m sure he looks at Mitsubishi Motors as a new challenge,” said CLSA analyst Christopher Richter.”He’s a turnaround artist. This is what he does best,” said Richter. Ghosn at the helm of Mitsubishi Motors’ board would “remove an enormous burden from the Mitsubishi group companies,” he said.The appointment “should be good ,” said Yasuhito Hirota, Executive Vice President at shareholder Mitsubishi Corp . “He is likely to be better than anybody else,” he said, declining to elaborate.SCANDALNissan in May said it would buy 34 percent of Mitsubishi Motors for around 237 billion yen after Mitsubishi admitted to falsifying the mileage of four minivehicle…

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