Nissan Shareholders Back Board at 1st Meeting Since New Alliance Deal

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A person holds a sign guiding participants to the Nissan Motor shareholder meeting in Yokohama on Tuesday.

TOKYO (Reuters) — Nissan Motor shareholders on Tuesday backed Chief Executive Makoto Uchida and other board nominees at its first annual general meeting since reaching a new deal with alliance partner Renault.

The shareholder meeting has taken place amid new ructions for the automaker’s management. Nissan is investigating claims that Uchida carried out surveillance of deputy Ashwani Gupta, sources have said. Gupta has left the company as of Tuesday.

The claims, made in a letter to independent directors by a senior Nissan advisor, highlighted a stark split in senior management over Nissan’s relationship with Renault and concerns about transfers of intellectual property to the French carmaker.

There were no questions by shareholders about the claims at the shareholder meeting. Details about the letter were only published on Saturday.

Nissan and Renault have yet to finalize the terms of a deal announced in February under which the Japanese automaker would take a stake of up to 15% in Ampere, an electric vehicle unit Renault is spinning off, and Renault would reduce its 43% stake in Nissan.

The support from shareholders for the 10 board nominees, including IBM veteran Brenda Harvey as an outside director, was widely expected given the strength of support for management among Japan’s individual investors.

The meeting was restricted to shareholders. Reuters monitored a webcast provided for investors who did not attend in person.

Shareholders on Tuesday also rejected a proposal by an individual investor for higher dividends this financial year that was opposed by the company’s board.