TOKYO: Nissan Motor Co Ltd said it was ousting Chairman Carlos Ghosn for alleged financial misconduct and Japanese media reported he been arrested, a shocking fate for a leader hailed for rescuing the company from close to bankruptcy.
The Japanese automaker said Ghosn’s alleged misconduct included personal use of company money and under-reporting how much he had been paid. Ghosn, also chairman and chief executive of Nissan’s French partner Renault, was one of the best known figures in the global car industry and his departure would raise question about the future of the alliance. Nissan said it launched a months-long investigation after a whistle-blower tipped it off to wrongdoing by Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly.
“The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have 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,” Nissan said in a statement.
It said CEO Hiroto Saikawa would propose that the Nissan board remove Ghosn and Kelly. Neither Ghosn nor Kelly could be reached for comment. Renault shares tumbled 11% in Paris to be among the worst performing stocks in Europe. Nissan’s German-listed securities plunged 10%.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the government, the French carmaker’s top shareholder, will be vigilant about Renault and its alliance with Nissan.