Nissan’s chief executive Makoto Uchida is coming under fire from shareholders anxious to see the under-performing company’s strategy for recovery. Last week the company posted a quarterly loss as vehicle sales plunged in key markets.
Reuters reported that Uchida put his job on the line at a rowdy shareholders’ meeting in Japan, where he was put under pressure to come up with aggressive steps to revive the company.
Uchida said he was ready to face dismissal if he failed to improve profitability at the company.
“We will make sure that we steer the company in an effective way so that it is visible in the eyes of viewers. I will commit to this: if the circumstances remain uncertain you can fire me immediately,” he said, according to Reuters.
Uchida was appointed CEO last year in the wake of the Carlos Ghosn scandal and the departure of his successor Hiroto Saikawa after a compensation scandal.
Uchida pleaded for patience while he puts together a strategic plan for recovery by May.
Some shareholders demanded more clarity about Uchida’s recovery plan now.
The company faces headwinds in the shape of sluggish sales in key markets – notably the US and Japan – as well as disruption to production caused by the impact of the coronavirus on its supply-chains.
Nissan has said it will make 12,500 job cuts and close unprofitable plants over the next three years.
Investors will be looking for signs that the new strategy sets a credible course for higher profits. Another important element in the outlook is the alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi that provides annual cost savings of EUR5 billion for its participants.