There seems to be no respite for Nissan. The beleagured Japanese automaker, reeling from the loss of two top officials in the course of less than 12 months, had in October announced a new management system to turn the company around and steer it back on course.
A committee consisting of outside directors appointed a trio of executives for the new system – Makoto Uchida as CEO, Ashwani Gupta from Mitsubishi as COO, and Jun Seki as vice-COO. While Uchida was the replacement for former CEO Hiroto Saikawa, who stepped down in September, the latter duo were introduced into a new leadership system designed to divide power and prevent the CEO from obtaining authoritarian status, as former chairman Carlos Ghosn had done.
Now, Seki, who assumed his new role at the beginning of December, has announced his resignation, less than a month in. According to the Asahi Shimbun and Nikkei, the 58-year-old is expected to leave Nissan and take up the post of president at Nidec, a Kyoto-based manufacturer of automotive components, in February. Nissan has reportedly said it has not decided who will replace Seki.
Seki, who has been in Nissan since 1986 and the only one of the three to have worked his way up the company, is highly regarded for his manufacturing experience and deep knowledge of the American and Chinese markets.
He was instrumental in crafting the company’s rebuilding plan that announced in July, compiling measures to streamline the automaker’s manufacturing bases and reduce the workforce. His departure for Nidec is quite a blow for Nissan and will undoubtedly delay the automaker’s improvement plan and road to recovery.