Nissan reportedly spied on former COO As CEO searched for leverage

World News

Nissan’s security team installed a camera surveillance system at former chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta’s home to monitor him, according to an investigation, which was launched after another executive claimed CEO Makato Uchida was surveilling Gupta in an effort to gain leverage over him.
Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta. Image: Getty
Key Takeaways
  • According to a preliminary report from the investigation, carried out by U.S. law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, Nissan installed two sets of security camera systems outside of Gupta’s home in Tokyo, Reuters reported.
  • One of the camera systems was monitored by a private security company while the other was accessed by Nissan’s security team, though it is unknown whether Gupta—whose final day with the company was yesterday—was aware of the surveillance.
  • The investigation was launched after senior vice president Hari Nada claimed Uchida was surveilling Gupta, according to a letter obtained by the Financial Times, after Gupta presented challenges toward completing a new partnership deal with Renault.
  • Nada also claimed Gupta was asked to resign by Nissan’s audit committee in April, after the committee presented Gupta with allegations of harassment against him from a female employee, though the company later announced Gupta “elected to leave” in order to “pursue other opportunities.”
  • Nissan’s U.S. office declined to comment.
Big Number

235,818. That’s how many Nissan vehicles were sold in the U.S. between January and March, and increase of 17% over the previous year, according to the company’s first-quarter report.


Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn filed a lawsuit against the automaker earlier this month, claiming libel, defamation and fabrication of material evidence after the company accused him of funneling money from Renault for personal use. Ghosn—who is seeking over $1 billion—was arrested in Japan in 2018 over allegations of false accounting.

A year later, Ghosn—who was out on bail—escaped from Japan to Lebanon after he was smuggled onto a flight while hiding inside a large music equipment box. France has also reportedly issued an international arrest warrant for him. Nissan filed a $91 million civil lawsuit against him in 2020 while seeking to “recover a significant part of the monetary damages inflicted on the company” by Ghosn, according to Bloomberg. That lawsuit is still pending.

Key Background

Gupta, 52, and Uchida joined Nissan as COO and CEO in 2019, respectively, though the pair had a tense relationship during Gupta’s tenure, according to the Financial Times. Gupta opposed Nissan taking a minority stake in Ampere, Renault’s electric vehicle company, which delayed an initial agreement between the two companies. Sources from both Renault and Nissan told the Times that Gupta’s departure from Nissan will stabilize the deal. Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi have been tied together for years, after Nissan and Renault agreed to a partnership in 1999, with Mitsubishi later joining in 2017.

This story was first published on and all figures are in USD.

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