Nissan names new CEO after a chaotic year

Nissan has selected a new chief executive officer as it tries to move beyond a scandal that has strained ties with alliance partner Renault.

The Japanese carmaker on Tuesday named Makoto Uchida as CEO, tapping an executive who has experience in the key market of China. The board said his appointment will be effective no later than Jan. 1.

“We expect Uchida to lead the company as one team, immediately focus on the recovery of the business and revitalize the company,” Nissan’s chair of the board of directors Yasushi Kimura said in a statement.

The appointment comes less than a month after the company’s previous chief, Hiroto Saikawa, resigned after admitting that he and other Nissan executives were overpaid as part of a stock-related payment plan.

Saikawa denied any wrongdoing and said he would return excess funds.

The resignation dealt yet another blow to Nissan, which has been struggling to recover from the ousting of former chairman Carlos Ghosn last November.

Ghosn is now under house arrest in Tokyo, where he faces charges of financial misconduct, as well as allegations that he understated his income for years and abused his position by transferring personal investment losses to Nissan. He denies the charges against him, claiming that fears over a merger with Renault — where he was also chairman — prompted a revolt at Nissan and led to his ouster.

Nissan’s alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi has been thrown into turmoil as a result of Ghosn’s departure, and questions over the company’s reporting of executive pay have continued to surface.

Nissan reported in July that profits plunged 99% for the first quarter of its fiscal year.

Yoko Wakatsuki and Jill Dsis contributed to this story.