TOKYO — Veteran leader Hiroto Saikawa will replace Carlos Ghosn as CEO of Nissan Motor Co., the automaker announced on Thursday.

Saikawa has been serving as co-CEO and representative director. He has worked in various roles since joining Nissan in 1977. He entered senior management in 1999. Ghosn will remain chairman of Nissan's board of directors. The move is effective April 1.

Ghosn is coming off a successful expansion of the Renault-Nissan Alliance to include Mitsubishi, which Nissan acquired a controlling interest in late last year. Ghosn is making the move to focus more attention on that initiative.

Saikawa served as Nissan's chief competitive officer from April of 2013 to October. He has also served as chairman of the management committees of the Americas and Europe, as well as the executive vice president of purchasing. In addition to his responsibilities at Nissan, Saikawa is the chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). He previously served as a member of the board of directors of Renault between 2006 and 2016.

Originally posted on F&I and Showroom