Photo/IllutrationHiroto Saikawa, president of Nissan Motor Co., at a news conference in Yokohama on Nov. 19 following Carlos Ghosn’s arrest earlier that day. (Saki Rin)

The president of Nissan Motor Co. took the unusual step Nov. 26 of calling on employees worldwide to maintain their morale and get on with their jobs despite the turmoil triggered by the arrest and removal of Carlos Ghosn as chairman.

In his nearly one-hour address, which was streamed to all company offices and factories, Hiroto Saikawa explained the events that led to the Brazilian-born Ghosn's arrest.

The briefing began at 9:30 a.m. It was the first time for Saikawa to directly address company employees about the downfall of the one of the most powerful executives in the global auto industry. It was closed to reporters.

Saikawa apologized for confusion caused by the arrest of Ghosn, 64, and Greg Kelly, 62, a former representative director.

However, he did not elaborate on the pair's alleged wrongdoing, citing continuing investigations by Tokyo prosecutors.

Ghosn and Kelly were arrested in Tokyo on Nov. 19 on suspicion of conspiring to under-report Ghosn’s remuneration in financial reports.

A Nissan employee in his 40s said he was inspired by Saikawa’s speech.

“The president urged us not to lose heart (due to the upheaval) and said words to the effect that he will review current day-to-day operations that place too much emphasis on numbers,” he said. “I felt his determination to use this as an opportunity to change the way Ghosn managed things.”

Saikawa reportedly stated that Nissan will seek to maintain its three-way alliance with Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

Nissan's group companies worldwide employ about 139,000 employees, and the parent company in Japan has 22,300 or so.

The charismatic Ghosn was much admired for his management ability in turning around Nissan's fortunes during his 20-year tenure.

Saikawa's address was intended to gain support from employees in Japan and elsewhere to Nissan executives’ swift removal of Ghosn as chairman of Nissan, which was approved at an extraordinary board meeting on Nov. 22.