crime

Nissan ex-CEO tells Japanese court Ghosn's pay was too low

49 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


49 Comments
Login to comment

“Mr Ghosn had outstanding abilities and achievements,” Saikawa said

There you go!

Ghosn goes from Criminal to National Hero in the blink of an eye.

22 ( +29 / -7 )

Too low? I guess that makes my pay peanuts. I'd like to see what is an average pay for them.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

retirement pay, consultant fees and a non-compete agreement to prevent him from moving to a competitor.

I don't know, that all sounds pretty legit to me. Did it have to be reported as an expense at the time of agreement? I wouldn't expect that, since he wouldn't be receiving the money until some time in the future. And there is no guarantee that he would get the money. If, for example, Ghosn dies a year after retiring, Nissan would not owe that money to his estate.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Saikawa is defending himself for signing Ghosn's remuneration draft.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

“Mr Ghosn had outstanding abilities and achievements,” Saikawa said,

Oh boy i would have loved to be in the court room when he said that, I wounder what the prosecuter team faces were like???!!

20 ( +23 / -3 )

The treatment of Mr. Kelly is so shameful I don't even know where to start.

He put off some surgery so that he could come to Japan ostensibly for a "meeting" which was actually a trap.

And now he's been incarcerated for, what, two years already? Without a conviction. No bail. Separated from his family while the police and prosecutors decide what they want to do.

Absolutely disgusting.

37 ( +40 / -3 )

Brian WhewayToday  04:44 pm JST

“Mr Ghosn had outstanding abilities and achievements,” Saikawa said,

Oh boy i would have loved to be in the court room when he said that, I wounder what the prosecuter team faces were like???!!

Zero emotion. Watch some tv dramas and learn and watch the news. Zero emotion. Arms at sides. Hair combed, and robes immaculate.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

So, all three committed more or less the same crimes, two are non-Japanese, one is Japanese; two they want to hang, one they dropped all charges... hmmm... wonder what the running theme is.

37 ( +39 / -2 )

Un believable mess, Nissan must be put on trial and it's employees.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Yes, of course, besides his own , only poor and suffering Ghosn’s pay was too low, while without doubt all other employees’ pay has been and still is and always will be much too high. Those guys are all rather sick in their golden bubble... lol

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Ghosn led Nissan for two decades, salvaging the Japanese automaker from the brink of collapse. 

Debatable, I think the thousands of hard working Nissan employees might have had something to do with this.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

I think that Saikawa is desperately trying to salvage what little self-respect he has left.

If Japan warns to salvage any self-respect the judge should just throw this whole thing out, and not be so terrified of the prosecutor.

Massive reform is reauired with regards to the Japans disgusting legal system, and until it is no one should be extradited to Japan.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

yaa.. ghosn's(the highest paid CEO among all Japanese companies CEO) pay was too less. Ohh lord. he must have been suffering a lot. i pity you ghosn. Ghosn's pay(16.9 million dollars) per annum was second only to GM's Mary barra (21.96 million dollars out of which most is due to restricted stock awards.) in the entire automotive industry.Akio toyoda recieves the pay of 1.86 million dollars. That's $8.4 million from Renault, $6.5 million from Nissan and $2 million from Mitsubishi.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

yaa.. ghosn's(the highest paid CEO among all Japanese companies CEO) pay was too less.

yes. Ghosn was underpaid.

one of the offers that Ghosn decided not to take is for General Motors for 10x his actual remuneration.

you can also take a look at the remuneration of other CEOs, its public information. your view on CEOs salaries will change very fast.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

@smithinjapanToday 05:19 pm JST

So, all three committed more or less the same crimes, two are non-Japanese, one is Japanese; two they want to hang, one they dropped all charges... hmmm... wonder what the running theme is.

In essence, Saikawa is claiming he had reasonable motives plus was acting on legal advice from Kelly. Receiving legal advice and reasonable motives does not eliminate criminality and culpability. But it does reduce it and makes it easier for the prosecutor to go for Suspended Prosecution.

A problem with Anglo-Americans is that they confuse having some kind of defence with actually reaching the point of innocence. Let me try to approximate it this way. If in the American system you'll be thinking of reaching some kind of costly settlement with the regulators or Justice Department to avoid trial and possible conviction, in the Japanese system the closest equivalent to that is to throw yourself at the mercy of the prosecutor. With some luck, the result will be similar in that you avoid actual conviction.

-20 ( +2 / -22 )

I don't think he stayed for the money even though he was the highest paid CEO in Japan.

The Obama administration offered him double his salary to become the CEO of GM but he declined.

It's documented in Steven Rattner's book "Overhaul".

Clearly if he was after fame and money he would have left right away but he didn't and during his press conference in Lebanon he also said "the captain doesn't abandon the ship".

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Zero emotion. Watch some tv dramas and learn and watch the news. Zero emotion. Arms at sides. Hair combed, and robes immaculate

Freshman?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So why is not Saikawa been charged as the other two?

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Akio toyoda recieves the pay of 1.86 million dollars

Yeah, rrrrright.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So why is not Saikawa been charged as the other two?

Because he is Japanese.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

So why is not Saikawa been charged as the other two?

There seems to be a lack of understanding as to how the prosecutors department works in Japan. There is a very grey area between two sections within the department.

There is the section which deals with people "of Japanese status" and a section which deals with people "not of Japanese status". This is cleverly disguised as the "International Section". (A Japanese Interpol). Probably in this case disguised as "Specialist Section".

Saikawa would probably been questioned by seperate prosecutors than Ghosn and Kelly. The two would cross reference notes and discuss, but keep their own mindset.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@bokuda well, again you are the people who start complaining about the wealth difference between them and common people in the society if they get paid more.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@Sindhoor GK

if that was the case. it's my bad.

Now i know how important was Ghosn, and how many thousands of Nissan employees lost everything as soon as Ghosn was out.

So many families destroyed because the actual Nissan directives are clueless.

it's time to hire a new Ghosn.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

@bokuda. You do realise that nissan today in such a position because of Ghosn's strategy of increasing market share by reducing profit margins right? he wanted to eat his competitors market share at the expense of his company's profit margins. It showed some results before 2015 but it quickly backfired after that. His strategy was already showing HUGE cracks before his scandal came out. he used this as an opportunity to divert the world's attention to "Japan" and cover up his shortcomings. Yaa he saves Nissan in the 90's.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

@Sindhoor GK

the data I have says that Nissan grow stadily for 20 years, since Ghosn.

cant see any crack in 2015.

and the crack comes on 2018, right after Ghosn arrest.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Really? Where is the evidence that they committed the same crime?

On that note, my job requires that I submit an annual financial disclosure to the government. If I manipulate my disclosure and claim innocence because ‘I don’t think I get paid enough,’ I would be laughed out of court. If I tried to claim that the charges are part of a conspiracy theory and the government was being racist (I am a minority), they’d laugh even harder and rightfully so.

@smithinjapan

So, all three committed more or less the same crimes, two are non-Japanese, one is Japanese; two they want to hang, one they dropped all charges... hmmm... wonder what the running theme is.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

some shady and murky waters over there in Nissan.

1st: After Ghosn was arrested in November 2018, he denounced Ghosn.

Now his pay is too "LOW"?

Please if you can't support your family of 5 with a modest income of 10mil Yen per year, something is very wrong. No one should be making more than 15M Yen per year unless you own it outright.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Folks remember even with all the talk of Ghosn, this trial id Kelly's trial

And the SNAKE saikawa is throwing Kelly under the bus.........quote below:

"He(Kelly) is an expert and a professional, and he was coming up with the proposals with an understanding of the overall process. If he was saying it, there could be no mistake," Saikawa told the court.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Bull argument!

I don't make enough at my job either! I want more! I'll just steal it then!

You don't make enough at work?? Follow Ghosn example and take it! That's what they are defending on here.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Lol, you clearly don’t understand what Sindhhor GK is explaining to you

the data I have says that Nissan grow stadily for 20 years, since Ghosn.

cant see any crack in 2015.

and the crack comes on 2018, right after Ghosn arrest.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

One would only think, now that Nissan ex-CEO telling the Japanese court Ghosn's pay was too low he is speaking for the rest of the silent CEO's in Japan who are to afraid to stand up and say I too should be paid like international CEO's.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Pay too low? Tell that to all the employees that were laid off when Ghosn started

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

If they both signed the same paper, Saikawa should carry a much harder sentence due to his higher rank.

...if that paperwork were just drafts as everyone seems to agree, then send everybody home and make the prosecution apologize already.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@SindhoorGK

Japan is not the world and the world is not Japan

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@bokuda what data are you referring to?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The so-called low pay defense is straight out of a comic-book.Basically insinuating that in order to keep him,the company needed to cook the books to do so.Twas not their doing,but business international standards.Oh please Japan. No-one believes that BS reasoning.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@bokuda

Analysts and industry executives lay much of the blame for Nissan’s woes on Ghosn. Over his last eight years at the helm, he led an unrelenting push for growth, often at the expense of the bottom line. To satisfy his demands for higher sales and more market share, Nissan executives turned to questionable practices that alienated a critical constituency: the dealers who sell its cars.

“Almost nobody calls now and says, ‘I want to buy a Nissan franchise,’” said Alan Haig, president of Haig Partners, which advises buyers and sellers of auto dealerships. “Carlos pushed too hard. He had very ambitious goals, and he pushed his managers to achieve them. He created a temporary situation that looked good for a while, but it was artificial.”

In an interview last week in Beirut, Ghosn said Nissan was doing fine when he stepped aside as chief executive three years ago, and he blamed his successor, Hiroto Saikawa, for the company’s problems.

“I think he’s unfit to be CEO, particularly when he spent this time not taking responsibility for the situation in which the company was,” Ghosn said.

lines from https://www.chicagotribune.com/autos/sns-nyt-nissan-rapid-decline-20200115-mmiqicy3r5ag3i6sesxdjhmqea-story.html

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Sindhoor GK

what's your motive to deminish Ghosn work?

even Saikawa admits

"Mr Ghosn had outstanding abilities and achievements," Saikawa said,

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@bokuda he brilliantly brought nissan back into profits in 90's and incredibly handled the 2008-2010 automotive crisis but what happened after that was mess. i acknowledge ghosn for his achievements but it's his own damn fault that Nissan is now in deep red. even the CNBC documentary said the same as nyt( the chicagotribune article i mentioned is originally from newyorktimes).

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The so-called low pay defense is straight out of a comic-book.Basically insinuating that in order to keep him,the company needed to cook the books to do so.Twas not their doing,but business international standards .Oh please Japan. No-one believes that BS reasoning.

This is the state of business in the world. If you want international superstars, you need to pay a salary competitive in the market around the entire world. I'm not sure why you are berating "Japan" (he wasn't a government employee), about an actual reality of the situation. I have to pay more for our senior developers, because I'm competing with a larger market. It's just how business works.

Whether that means they were justified in how they did it, and/or that they did or didn't do anything illegal is separate. But this "BS reasoning" isn't BS at all, it's a very real situation.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

An American, he has been charged with financial misconduct in failing to fully disclose Ghosn's future compensation.

I'm no tax accounting expert, but such future compensation was non-existent at that point in time. So it's illegal to conceal something that doesn't exist? That's a very onerous obligation, it seems to me.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm no tax accounting expert, but such future compensation was non-existent at that point in time. So it's illegal to conceal something that doesn't exist?

I also am no expert, but maybe it was guaranteed future compensation, written into a contract or something.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

maybe it was guaranteed future compensation, written into a contract or something.

it comes down to that contract.

if it exist, please, make it public already.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Now it seems that the law - reporting future compensations - is stupid. Whoever thought of that is a genius, not.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And the SNAKE saikawa is throwing Kelly under the bus.........quote below:

You guys keep calling Saikawa the snake, but the biggest snake is the other foreigner Hari Nada.

I doubt Saikawa would have the balls to plot against Ghosn on his own, especially when he signed off on the documents.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 I'm not sure why you are berating "Japan" (he wasn't a government employee), about an actual reality of the situation. I have to pay more for our senior developers, because I'm competing with a larger market. It's just how business works.

Ok.My wording should have been Nissan instead of Japan.And my point is not the problem with the paying him more.But the way they went about it.They should have done it above board. One reasoning was Japanese bigwigs don't get the type of big money that western execs get, so having it out there publicly would've been a bad look.So they said.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"No one at Nissan apart from Ghosn and Kelly has been charged." Tells you pretty much everything you need to know, doesn't it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Japan is not the world and the world is not Japan" Not if you were born and raised here to Japanese parents...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All involved are guilty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites