Nissan board votes to end Ghosn’s two-decade reign

TOKYO: Nissan Motor’s board voted on Thursday to oust Carlos Ghosn (pictured) from his post as chairman following his shock arrest this week, public broadcaster NHK reported, marking the stunning downfall of the executive once hailed as the saviour of the Japanese automaker.
The removal of Ghosn clouds the direction of the Renault-Nissan alliance, which he had personally shaped and pledged to consolidate with a deeper tie-up despite reservations at Nissan. Ghosn is also Renault’s chairman and chief executive.
The board also voted to remove Greg Kelly from his position as representative director, the Nikkei newspaper reported. Nissan said on Monday an internal investigation triggered by a tip-off from an informant had revealed that Ghosn engaged in wrongdoing including personal use of company money and under-reporting of his earnings for years.
Tokyo prosecutors have accused Ghosn and Kelly of financial misconduct and they remain in custody. Ghosn and Kelly have not commented on the accusations and Reuters has not been able to reach them. A Nissan spokesman declined to comment.
The Franco-Japanese alliance, enlarged in 2016 to include Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors, has been rattled to its core by Ghosn’s arrest in Japan on Monday, with the 64-year-old group chairman and industry star accused of financial misconduct.
Ghosn had shaped the alliance and was pushing for a deeper tie-up including potentially a full Renault-Nissan merger at the French government’s urging, despite strong reservations at the Japanese firm.
Japanese prosecutors said Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly, who has also been arrested, conspired to understate Ghosn’s compensation at Nissan over five years from 2010, saying it was about half the actual 10 billion yen ($88.47 million). Shin Kukimoto, deputy public prosecutor at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, said on Thursday that court approval was received a day earlier to detain Ghosn for 10 days but he could not comment on whether he had admitted to the allegations. — Reuters