Nissan paid ex-operations chief $3.7 million over departure

By Thomson Reuters May 31, 2024 | 5:29 AM

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Nissan Motor paid former Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta $3.7 million in compensation following his sudden departure last year, the Japanese automaker disclosed in a notice for its annual general meeting.

Nissan said in the notice it had paid 582 million yen ($3.7 million) to an executive officer who left his position during the 2023 business year. Gupta was the only executive officer to leave during that period, a company spokesperson confirmed.

Japan’s No.3 automaker by volume had said in May last year that Gupta, who had been chief operating officer since 2019 and had been seen as a frontrunner to be the next CEO, would not be reappointed to the board.

Separately, Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida said at a press conference on Friday he was returning 30% of his pay for three months from April following a warning from Japan’s fair trade watchdog that the automaker had underpaid suppliers.

The watchdog called out Nissan in March for violating Japan’s Subcontractor Law by underpaying 36 suppliers by about 3 billion yen in total over a roughly two-year period from January 2021.

Nissan said at that time it had fully refunded suppliers for money that it had unilaterally deducted. It also set up a unit under the CEO to gather feedback from suppliers and set up an external hotline for related matters, it said on Friday.

The Subcontractor Law prohibits the ordering party from unilaterally reducing payment when the subcontractor is not at fault.

($1 = 157.3100 yen)

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; editing by Jason Neely)