Nissan Motor said Carlos Ghosn, who has led the Japanese automaker for the past 16 years, will step aside as chief executive officer, handing over the helm to a long-time company veteran.
The change in leadership comes just as Nissan and group automakers Renault and Mitsubishi Motors try to leverage their combined scale as one of the world's top-producing carmakers to compete with automakers and technology companies to develop self-driving cars and lower-emission vehicles.
Hiroto Saikawa, currently co-CEO, will be the sole chief executive officer from April 1.
The announcement ends years of speculation over when Ghosn would relinquish the top job at Nissan, Japan's No. 2 automaker, to focus on French alliance partner Renault SA, whose investors have grumbled that he was stretched too thin leading two major automakers.
Ghosn in December added a third chairmanship at Mitsubishi Motors, which joined the automaker alliance last year following Nissan's acquisition of a controlling stake in the troubled Japanese automaker.
Ghosn will remain as chairman of all three Alliance companies, and as CEO of the Renault Group, keeping him in the top position of an automaker group which has joined the ranks of Toyota Motor and Volkswagen as a producer of around 10 million vehicles annually.