Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn ‘arrested’, to be dismissed for financial misconduct

Jeannie Matthews
November 19, 2018

Shares in vehicle makers Renault and Nissan have slumped following reports that their joint chairman, Carlos Ghosn, is to be arrested in Japan on suspicion of falsifying financial statements and that he is about to be removed from his position by the board.

Nissan's CEO Hiroto Saikawa planned to prospose to its board that Ghosn and Kelly both be removed from their posts.

In June, Renault shareholders approved Ghosn's 7.4 million euro ($8.45 million) compensation for 2017.

"Numerous other significant acts of misconduct" including "personal use of company assets", were also found. Nissan said in a release.

"Nissan has been providing information to the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office and has been fully cooperating with their investigation".

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In a statement, Nissan said that "over many years" Ghosn and another senior executive, Greg Kelly, had been "reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn's compensation".

Public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News also reported that Ghosn, who doubles as chairman and chief executive of France's Renault, was to be arrested. Spokesmen for Renault and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance did not immediately return calls and messages seeking comment on the arrest reports. The companies have worked as an alliance for nearly a two decades and Brazilian-born Mr Ghosn has led a dramatic turnaround at Nissan over the last two decades, rescuing it from near-bankruptcy.

Kelly was a representative director at Nissan.

Ghosn came to Nissan in 1999 as chief operating officer to lead the Japanese carmaker's turnaround under a capital alliance with Renault.

Brazilian-born, of Lebanese descent and a French citizen, he began his career at Michelin in France before moving on to Renault. He has been credited with turning around both Renault and Nissan, before going on to become the linchpin of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. "We will continue our work to identify our governance and compliance issues, and to take appropriate measures".

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