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Amid Scandal, Mitsubishi Seeks to Triple Pay for Top Execs

Change is most likely coming to Mitsubishi Motors thanks to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. Will executive compensation change before his arrival?

TOKYO — Scandal-hit Mitsubishi Motors wants to triple its top executives' pay as Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn gets set to take over as chairman. In a notice dated November 29, the automaker said it would put "a restructuring of our executive compensation system" to a vote at a shareholder meeting on December 14.

Investors are also being asked to vote on Ghosn's appointment as a Mitsubishi board member. His hiring was part of a deal that saw Nissan throw Mitsubishi a lifeline in May when it announced plans to buy a one-third stake in the crisis-hit automaker for about $2.2 billion, as the smaller rival wrestled with a mileage-cheating scandal that hammered sales.

Ghosn, also the head of French automaker Renault, is widely credited with turning around a near-bankrupt Nissan in the late nineties.

Under the proposed changes, Mitsubishi board members, including Ghosn, would see their maximum annual salary jump to 2.0 billion yen ($17.55 million) from the current 960 million yen ($8.42 million).

The firm is also asking shareholders to vote on a proposal to offer top executives as much as 1.0 billion yen ($8.78 million) annually in stock options, which could nearly triple total compensation.

"We have to attract talented people from inside and outside the industry to join our board," Mitsubishi spokesman Maki Furukawa told AFP when asked about the pay-scale jump.

The proposed figures mark the upper limit of annual compensation and their actual pay could be lower, he added.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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