Nissan president and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has been removed from his position as chairman of the board at Nissan following allegations of “severe financial misconduct.” These allegations surfaced after the automaker and Japanese officials conducted an intense investigation into Ghosn’s and the company’s financial information.
Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo on Monday for suspicions that he had violated the country’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act by under-reporting his income by more than $43 million over five years. Nissan also accused Ghosn of numerous acts of “misconduct” such as abusing company assets for personal use, including the reported redirection $1.5 million to remodel a privately-owned home, according to NBC News. The automaker’s board stated Monday that it would seek to remove Ghosn from his position as chairman, and in a meeting Thursday, the board followed through on its removal of the executive.
The Nissan board’s representative director Greg Kelly was also removed on Thursday, as he was implicated and arrested with Ghosn. Nissan has created two separate committees as a reaction to the pair’s removal, one to evaluate executive compensation at the company, and the other to identify potential replacements. One candidate for Ghosn’s successor is believed to be Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa.
For the time being, Ghosn remains the chairman and CEO of Renault, another member of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Its board voted Tuesday in spite of pressure from the French government to retain Ghosn in these roles but requested that Nissan share the results of its internal investigation, expressing skepticism about the charges which Ghosn faces. The jailed executive reportedly sought a full-scale merger of Renault and Nissan prior to his arrest, which was allegedly unpopular with both the Nissan board and its CEO Saikawa.
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