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December, 9, 2016

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Scandal-hit Mitsubishi eyes tripling of directors' pay

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors wants to triple its directors' pay as Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn gets set to take over as chairman at the automaker dented by a mileage-cheating scandal.

In a notice dated Nov. 29, Mitsubishi said it would put a "restructuring of our executive compensation system" to a vote at a shareholder meeting on Dec. 14.

Investors are also being asked to vote on Ghosn's appointment as a Mitsubishi board member.

His hiring was part of a deal that saw Nissan throw Mitsubishi a lifeline in May when it announced plans to buy a one-third stake in the crisis-hit automaker for about US$2.2 billion, as the smaller rival wrestled with a mileage-cheating scandal that hammered sales.

Ghosn, also the head of French automaker Renault, is widely credited with turning around a near-bankrupt Nissan in the late nineties.

Mitsubishi's board would see its maximum annual pay jump to 2.0 billion yen (US$17.5 million) under the proposed changes, from the current 960 million yen

The firm is also asking shareholders to vote on a proposal to offer directors as much as 1.0 billion yen annually in stock options.

The proposed boost in compensation is a total figure that would be divided among 11 board members, including Ghosn, who earned about US$18 million combined in the past fiscal year for running Nissan and Renault.

The current 10-person board was paid a total of 470 million yen in salaries for the year to March 2016, far below the current cap, the firm said.

"We have to attract talented people from inside and outside the industry to join our board," Mitsubishi spokesman Maki Furukawa told AFP when asked about the jump.

The proposed figures mark the upper limit of annual compensation and their actual pay could be lower, he added.

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