Nissan has been in the news quite a bit as of late, and most of it has been about troubles at the top.
A series of pay scandals for former top executives such as ex-CEO Carlos Ghosn (who also recently fled prosecution by somehow smuggling himself to Lebanon) and his successor, now ex-CEO Hiroto Saikawa has made it tough for Nissan to fully engage their drive forward.
The road to recovery seems to have been regained with the promotion of three new leaders in the form of new CEO Makoto Uchida together with Ashwani Gupta and Jun Seki in operations, but it seems the triumvirate has changed just as quickly as it formed.
Jun Seki, the third in command at Nissan as Vice Chief Operating Officer, has recently resigned to take on a new post with Nidec; Japan's (and the world's) largest manufacturer of motors for hard disk drives.
The move by Seki gives an interesting insight for outsiders into what is happening within the leadership and culture of Nissan. Seki has a background in mechanical engineering and has been with Nissan since 1986, far longer than Uchida (who joined Nissan in 2003) and Gupta (who came in via the Renault Nissan Alliance).
The Japanese business conventions of favoring tenure, loyalty, and seniority (at 58, Seki is older than Uchida by 5 years and Gupta by 9 years) and would indicate that Seki should have logically been the executive elected to the top post as CEO, but was passed over.
But Seki's move can logically be interpreted as a clever one, especially since Nidec is poised to take a leading role in the manufacture of electric motors not just in hard drives, but for automotive applications as well. Some of Nidec's products include motors for radiator fans, sunroof units, anti-lock brake systems, seat adjustment units and more.
According to a Nikkei report, Nidec's founder and CEO, 75-year old Shigenobu Nagamori, has been looking for a successor to take the reins is his company is to achieve his 10-trillion yen target by FY 2020.
Interestingly enough, Nidec is also a major manufacturer of parts in the Philippines with factories in Binan, Laguna as well as in Subic.
Seki's successor as Vice COO will be Hideyuki Sakamoto, also an engineer by training and has been with Nissan even longer; he's been with the company since 1980.