YOKOHAMA, Japan — The embattled chief executive of Nissan, Hiroto Saikawa, will resign, the company said Monday, following months of speculation about his ability to manage the Japanese carmaker since it was rocked by the arrest last year of its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn.
Mr. Saikawa’s departure, set for Sept. 16, was announced after Nissan’s board received a briefing on the results of a 10-month investigation into the company’s governance. The inquiry was a prompted after Japanese prosecutors charged Mr. Ghosn with financial misconduct, including underreporting his compensation by tens of millions of dollars. He denies any wrongdoing.
Nissan also faces charges in relation to Mr. Ghosn’s compensation and it has attempted internal governance reforms.
In the months since Mr. Ghosn’s arrest in November, Nissan’s internal inquiry had grown to include many other aspects of the company’s business, including the compensation of Mr. Saikawa and other top executives.
Speculation that Mr. Saikawa — a once-loyal deputy to Mr. Ghosn who has been withering in his criticism since the arrest — would resign had grown since Thursday, when he announced that he and other executives had received unearned compensation as a result of what he described as an error by the company.
The admission was blow to Mr. Saikawa. Nissan, a partner in a global carmaking alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi, has suffered with dismal performance and a crisis of confidence over the past year, and Mr. Saikawa has been struggling to put the company back on track.
Mr. Saikawa had long been fighting an uphill battle: The company’s profits dropped 94 percent in the last quarter, its alliance with Renault is coming apart at the seams, and many Nissan employees have lost faith in Mr. Saikawa’s ability to lead the company out of its most difficult crisis in years.