Renault keeps Carlos Ghosn as CEO despite arrest in Japan

21 November, 2018, 11:59 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Carlos Ghosn

At a news conference in Japan late on Monday, Saikawa outlined three broad categories of accusation against Ghosn: under-reporting of compensation; misrepresenting company investments; and making personal use of company assets.

Nissan's investigation into alleged misconduct by Chairman Carlos Ghosn is expanding to include Renault-Nissan finances, sources told Reuters - in a further sign that Nissan may seek to loosen its French parent's hold on their global carmaking alliance.

Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault, a three-way alliance of carmakers, all led by Mr Ghosn, have all seen their share prices tumble.

"At this stage, the board is unable to comment on the evidence seemingly gathered against Mr Ghosn by Nissan and the Japanese judicial authorities", the board said in the statement.

Mr Lagayette, 75, has been on Renault's board since 2007, where he leads the audit, risks and ethics committee.

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Mitsubishi is also conducting an internal probe of Ghosn's activities and the board there will likely meet by the end of next week to decide the chairman's fate, Masuko said.

Ghosn, who was chairman of both Renault and sister company Nissan, was arrested on Monday in Japan following allegations of financial misconduct by the Japanese firm, including claims that Ghosn under-reported his salary by 5bn yen ($45m) over five years.

The French government, Renault's biggest shareholder, distanced itself from Ghosn in seeking a replacement.

Set to leave Renault in 2022, Ghosn had been laying the groundwork to ensure a future for the alliance, including the option of a merger. The setup has come under pressure from Nissan in recent years because of its lopsided balance of power in favor of Renault. It may also bolster Chief Operating Officer Thierry Bollore's powers. Nissan, while nearly 60% bigger than Renault by sales, remains the junior partner in their shareholding hierarchy with a smaller reciprocal 15% non-voting stake in Renault. France has examined Ghosn's local tax records and found "nothing particular", Le Maire said.

Now, Ghosn's legacy and the Renault-Nissan alliance are both in question.

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