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Nissan reassigns former Ghosn aide and whistle-blower

Ania Nussbaum

Nissan Motor Co. reassigned Hari Nada, an executive who worked under former Chairman Carlos Ghosn and played a key role in his downfall.

The 55-year-old Nada, formerly a senior vice president, will now be a senior adviser overseeing special projects, including upcoming legal action, Nissan said in a statement Wednesday. Ghosn, arrested for alleged financial crimes, is awaiting trial in Tokyo.

A Malaysian-born lawyer, Nada has been at Nissan since the 1990s and had worked closely with Greg Kelly, the other Nissan executive arrested along with Ghosn in November. Ghosn and Kelly have denied all charges.

Hari Nada

Nada didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. In his previous position, he oversaw the corporate advisory office, the legal department, intellectual property and the chief security office.

“Although Nissan has found no evidence of inappropriate involvement by Nada in the internal investigation into executive misconduct led by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn and others, the change is aimed to avoid undue suspicion and to enable him to focus on important tasks for the company, such as forthcoming legal action,” Nissan said.

Nada is said to have been closely involved with many aspects of the chairman’s compensation, serving as one of three administrators of Zi-A Capital BV, a Dutch subsidiary of Nissan created by Kelly that purchased a house for Ghosn in Beirut. Nada was also aware of documents proposing that payments totaling as much as $80 million be made to Ghosn after his eventual retirement, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

Prior to Ghosn’s arrest, Nada and an administrator named Toshiaki Onuma were said to have become concerned that some of what they saw might be criminal, and eventually approached Japanese authorities. Facing the risk of becoming subjects of interest in the inquiry, they secured cooperation agreements under new judicial rules allowing plea bargains, in exchange for providing evidence against Ghosn.