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Ghosn whistle-blower faces pressure to leave Nissan: sources

Tokyo

A CENTRAL figure at Nissan Motor Co who was instrumental in the downfall of former chairman Carlos Ghosn and a key go-between in the carmaker's talks with partner Renault SA is under pressure to leave the company following a pay scandal, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The push to oust Hari Nada, 55, which has the support of Renault, may lead to him being forced to resign and could come as soon as this Tuesday's board meeting, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn't public. He is cooperating with Japanese prosecutors under a plea-bargaining agreement in their case against Ghosn for financial crimes, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

A Malaysian-born lawyer who studied in the UK and Japan, Mr Nada is a senior vice-president at Nissan and worked in the chief executive's office under Ghosn and his successor, Hiroto Saikawa. He was recently implicated in a scandal at the company involving excess stock-linked compensation, which led to Mr Saikawa's resignation last month. Mr Nada is expected to be a key witness in Ghosn's trial next year.

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"He will continuously be a Nissan member and he has no reason to leave," Nissan spokeswoman Azusa Momose said of Mr Nada, and declined to make him available for comment. Mr Nada didn't respond to an e-mailed message seeking comment and didn't answer his phone when contacted by Bloomberg News. A representative for Renault declined to comment.

Nissan's board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, where they will discuss candidates for CEO. The directors have set a deadline for end-October to announce a new leader, and are considering a short list of three candidates, people with knowledge of the matter said. BLOOMBERG