Nissan's Ghosn poised for third salary after being confirmed as Mitsubishi chairman

Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:45am EST
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By Maki Shiraki and Naomi Tajitsu

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T: Quote) and Renault SA (RENA.PA: Quote) CEO Carlos Ghosn is set to receive a third salary after Nissan-controlled Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T: Quote) on Wednesday approved the Frenchman as its chairman along with a tripling in compensation for board members.

Shareholders voted in favor of raising the ceiling on combined annual compensation for Mitsubishi's 11 internal and external directors to 3 billion yen ($26.06 million), including 2 billion yen in salary and 1 billion yen in stock options.

Mitsubishi has revamped top management and appointed Ghosn to head its 11-member board after Nissan in October took a 34 percent controlling stake in Japan's sixth-largest automaker, which is struggling to recover from a mileage-cheating scandal.

At a special shareholders meeting, some raised concerns about bumping up executive pay while Mitsubishi was on track to post an annual net loss after it overstated the fuel economy on many of its domestic models.

"We didn't think it was appropriate to reduce compensation while prioritizing the company's recovery," CEO Osamu Masuko told shareholders.

The automaker said it was increasing its top-level pay scheme to incentivise executives to improve the company's management and attract talent.

"Compensation (excluding stock options) will not be doubled if we don't return to the black next year, for example. Because compensation will be merit-based, if our performance is not good, director salaries will reflect that," he said.

Mitsubishi now has the firepower to raise compensation after paying its previous board of 10 directors 423 million yen in the year ended March, below the maximum 960 million yen previously set aside for such compensation.   Continued...

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance attends a joint news conference with Mitsubishi Motors Corp's Chairman and CEO Osamu Masuko in Tokyo, Japan, October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato