TOKYO--Nissan Motor Co was embroiled in another scandal over executive pay on Thursday after Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa admitted to being overpaid in violation of internal procedures under a scheme designed by ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn.
An internal investigation found that Saikawa and other executives had received improper compensation, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, raising doubts about Saikawa's pledge to improve governance in the wake of Ghosn's arrest last year for alleged financial misconduct.
Saikawa apologised and vowed to return any improperly paid funds as he admitted to Japanese reporters earlier on Thursday that he had wrongly received stock-related compensation under a scheme of the Ghosn era. "I am deeply sorry for causing concern," Saikawa said, according to Jiji Press.
In other comments reported by Kyodo news, Saikawa denied any direct role in the execution of a stock appreciation rights (SAR) scheme and said he thought "proper procedures" had been taken.
The improper payments, including tens of millions of yen Saikawa received through the SAR scheme, were disclosed on Wednesday at a meeting of Nissan's audit committee, said the source who declined to be identified because the information is not public. Disciplinary action regarding the issue would be discussed at an upcoming board meeting, the source added.