Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is planning to resign by 2017 at the latest, according to a report from Bloomberg. The 58-year-old auto executive has reportedly told other Nissan officials in Japan that he will step down before the company starts its next mid-term plan.
If Ghosn steps down by 2017, that will be as Nissan moves from its current mid-term business plan to the next, as-yet undisclosed one. Currently Nissan is working under what it calls Power 88, an ambitious five-year plan to grow market share and sales. Announced last June, Power 88 requires the automaker to grow its operating profits to 8 percent, increase global market share to 8 percent, and achieve 10-percent market penetration in China. The plan involves launching a new vehicle every six months, for a total of 66 products globally sold in 92 percent of world car markets, and expanding Nissan's global dealership count from 6000 to 7500 -- all by 2016.
Nissan officials in Japan say they are preparing for Ghosn's resignation and have a succession plan in place. More details should be announced at the company's next shareholder meeting on June 26. The resignation was apparently presaged by a Japanese-language book published last year, in which author Ferdinand Yamaguchi wrote that Ghosn wanted to leave Nissan by 2017.
Carlos Ghosn joined Nissan as chief operating officer in 1999, after 18 years working for Michelin. He became CEO of Nissan in 2001. Ghosn also became CEO of Renault in 2009, to lead the Nissan-Renault alliance. It's unclear whether Ghosn also plans to step down from his role with French automaker Renault; he first became executive vice president of Renault in 1996.
Sources: Bloomberg, Nissan