American corporate controller Stephen Ma was appointed CFO of Japan-based Nissan Motor Co. the company anounced Friday. The company also announced a new chief operating officer, senior vice president, chief product officer, and the resignation of several corporate veterans. All appointments and resignations are effective Dec. 1.
The announcement follows less than a month after Nissan named Makoto Uchida, its Chinese business head, as incoming CEO.
- Following the arrest of its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, for alleged financial misconduct, the automaker has faced wide-margin losses, scandals and tensions with its largest shareholder, French automaker Renault, which holds a 43.4% stake, according to Reuters.
Ma has been with Nissan's U.S. operations division for 23 years, and his tenure includes serving as CFO of Nissan's joint venture with Chinese partner DongFeng Motor Co., Reuters reported. Before his promotion to CEO, Uchida also served as a DongFeng executive, according to Bloomberg.
Ma will join Ashwani Gupta, appointed Nissan COO last month, in becoming the highest-ranking non-Japanese executive at the company. The company is trying to "achieve a generational change in Nissan management," Reuters reported.
Ghosn, former chairman of both Nissan and Renault was arrested last year on financial misconduct allegations, which he denies. Ghosn's arrest exposed "shoddy corporate governance at Nissan and brought long-standing tensions between the automakers to the fore," Bloomberg said.
Since Ghosn's departure, Nissan and Renault have disagreed over Nissan's choice of board members and executives.
With Gupta as COO, Jun Seki as deputy COO and Ma as CFO, the company will seek to "restore profitability at a decade low while competing in an era of transition to electrification and autonomous vehicles," Bloomberg reported.
"Nissan needs to review its relationship with Renault, rebuild its U.S. business, restructure, speed up new car development and restore overall profitability," Koji Endo, an analyst at SBI Securities, told Bloomberg. "That is [their] responsibility."