India, Sept. 10 -- The resignation of Hiroto Saikawa, chief executive of Nissan Motor Co.gives the embattled Japanese carmaker a much needed opportunity to clean decks and move on.

Ever since the shock arrest of the company's chairman Carlos Ghosn almost a year ago, the Japanese auto gianthas been in permanent crisis mode and ties with its French alliance partner Renault SA have frayed.To steer it through that period Nissan needed a leader with deft political skills who embodied a cleanbreak with the Ghosn era. Saikawa -a Ghosn appointee -wasn't it.

The reportthat Nissan published concurrently on Monday, detailing allegations of financial misconduct by Ghosn, makes for grim reading (Ghosn denies wrongdoing). Yet Saikawacould never dista...