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Nissan Motors 'cost killer' boss Carlos Ghosn quits

Nissan Motors' CEO Carlos Ghosn is calling it quits. Carlos Ghosn brought the then ailing car maker back from the brink of financial ruin 17 years ago and turned it into a global powerhouse.

Nissan Motors said on Wednesday that Hiroto Saikawa - the company's current co-CEO - will take over from Ghosn on April 1.

"Having recently taken on new responsibilities at Mitsubishi Motors, and taking into consideration the upcoming Nissan general shareholders meeting, I have decided that the time is right for Hiroto Saikawa to succeed me as Nissan's CEO," Ghosn said in a statement.

Ghosn will remain the company's chairman and also the CEO of Renault Group, chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, as well as chairman and CEO of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance.

"Mr. Ghosn proposed the move to Nissan's board," a company spokesperson told "Business Insider."

The Go Ultra Low Nissan LEAF

The Go Ultra Low Nissan LEAF

The reshuffle allows Ghosn to focus on the alliances with French car maker Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, the spokesperson said.

In 2004, he added Renault to the alliance and in 2016 also picked up Japan's troubled Mitsubishi.

Nissan's Alliance family is built around a 17-year cross shareholding agreement with Renault.

Ghosn became COO in June 1999 and was appointed CEO in June 2001, before reviving what had become a brand in decline.

Nissan subsequently achieved higher profit margins and expanded in many countries, including China, now one of Nissan's key markets.

Nissan revamped its product line, introduced fresh styling, new features and overall made key moves to make the vehicles more appealing.

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jbh/rc (AFP, dpa)

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