Carlos Ghosn to step down as Nissan CEO, assume oversight role

Carlos Ghosn
Carlos Ghosn, who is credited with saving Nissan from bankruptcy, will step down from his position as CEO of the automaker effective April 1. He will be replaced by Hiroto Saikawa, who currently serves as co-CEO.

Ghosn, who joined Nissan in 1999 after starting out at Renault and became CEO of the Japanese automaker two years later, will retain his position as chairman of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, a statement released Thursday said. He will also remain CEO of Renault, as well as chairman of the French automaker, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, which the Alliance acquired last October. The change will allow Ghosn to take on more of an oversight role in the enlarged automotive conglomerate.

“As Nissan’s chairman, I will continue to supervise and guide the company, both independently and within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance,” Ghosn said. “This planned change will also allow me to devote more time and energy to managing strategic and operational evolution and expansion of the Alliance and ensuring that all its members benefit from the competitive advantages that its scale will deliver.”

The alliance between Renault and Nissan is based on an interconnected share structure, which is why both automakers retain independent corporate structures alongside a joint board and executive team. Nissan purchased a controlling stake in Mitsubishi last year, after the smaller Japanese automaker was weakened by a fuel-efficiency cheating scandal.

New Nissan CEO Saikawa, who has been with the automaker since 1977, was elevated to the position of co-CEO alongside Ghosn when the Mitsubishi acquisition was completed. Prior to that, he was Nissan’s chief competitive officer. Saikawa also served on Renault’s board from 2006 to 2016, and is chairman of the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association, a lobbying group.

Ghosn steps down just as Nissan completes its Power 88 mid-term business plan, leaving Saikawa to draw up the next plan. With the takeover of Mitsubishi, the Renault-Nissan Alliance became the world’s fourth-largest automaker. Ghosn has said the companies will focus on achieving greater economies of scale, including in the area of electric cars, where the Alliance currently leads in global sales.

Computing

Microsoft is ‘handing even more of online life’ to Google, Mozilla CEO says

Not everyone is happy with Microsoft's switch to Google's Chromium engine. In a new blog post, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard writes that he believes the move is "handing online life control" to Google.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Outdoors

Onak 2.0 is an origami-inspired folding canoe for waterborne adventures

The Onak 2.0 is an origami-inspired folding kayak that measures 15 feet in length when fully assembled, yet can breakdown and be stored in a small, easily transported box making it a great option for apartment dwellers.
Digital Trends Live

Pro4Ma CEO Liz Dunn explains the retail trends of Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Black Friday is a day of sales, but also of chaos. Pro4MA CEO Liz Dunn appeared on Digital Trends Live to discuss the shifts she has seen in Black Friday weekend, and what they mean for consumers.
Cars

Waymo becomes the first company to charge for rides in self-driving cars

Waymo has launched a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in the Phoenix area. It's the first U.S. company to generate revenue by putting passengers in autonomous cars. Waymo One is only available to a select group of…
Smart Home

Is old-school Airstream finally embracing smart home technology?

Airstream's vintage-looking trailers have a huge audience but its 2019 Classic camping trailers are getting a modern upgrade with the addition of app-controlled smart home technology to bring modern convenience online.
Cars

Did that car just wink at you? Daimler previews car-to-pedestrian signals

Eager to show off progress with autonomous cars and perhaps do some consumer softening as well, Daimler and Bosch previewed car-to-pedestrian communications. A sensor-loaded Mercedes S appears to wink to acknowledge a pedestrian's presence.
Cars

Uber is about to restart self-driving car tests but on a reduced scale

Uber is reported to be on the verge of restarting its autonomous-car test program. The company halted it in March 2018 following a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles, but its cars could be back on the road within weeks.
Cars

Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.
Cars

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.
Cars

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Cars

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.