A Nissan Motor Co. logo is displayed on a screen during an unveiling event for the Leaf Nismo electric race car in Tokyo, Japan. ( Photographer: Kentaro Takahsahi/Bloomberg)

Nissan CEO Tells Staff Governance Failures Need to Be Addressed

(Bloomberg) -- Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa sought to reassure staff that the carmaker is addressing corporate-governance shortcomings that have ensnared the company in the scandal involving former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

The company is looking closely at its governance “which permitted the situation to continue, which clearly calls for grave reflection,” Saikawa said in an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed by Nissan. More facts related to the case will be revealed, including results from the company’s internal investigation, he said.

“When they come to light, I believe that you will understand that they are serious enough to make the company’s actions absolutely necessary,” Saikawa said.

Ghosn was re-arrested Friday on fresh allegations of financial misconduct, the latest twist in the drama that has shocked the global car industry. The saga has raised questions about corporate governance and senior management’s oversight at the carmaker, with the allegations spanning at least a decade.

The car titan was originally arrested on Nov. 19, and he and Nissan were indicted on Dec. 10 for falsifying securities reports which under-reported his income by tens of millions of dollars.

“We continue to conduct an internal investigation to uncover all of the facts, and we will take firm action going forward,” Saikawa said in the memo. “Regarding the matter of indictment, we’ll continue to take necessary action in accordance with judiciary process, as is our obligation.”

Nissan’s management team will try to maintain a work environment without distraction or anxiety, Saikawa added.

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