Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn arrested, company moves to sack him

Daniel Fowler
November 19, 2018

Ghosn, 64, and Representative Director Greg Kelly had been officially reporting lower compensation "to reduce the disclosed amount", Nissan said in a statement.

In a statement released by Nissan, they said that they had been investigating Carlos Ghosn and Nissan's Representative Director Greg Kelly.

The (suspected) crime is a violation of Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Law, and the authorities have already begun searching the offices of Nissan's headquarters and other locations.

Brazilian-born Ghosn, sent in by alliance partner Renault SA of France, has led a dramatic turnaround at Nissan over the last two decades, rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy.

The Japanese broadcaster NHK said Ghosn was arrested Monday after he voluntarily submitted to questioning by Tokyo prosecutors. He was exposed by a whistleblower, Nissan said.

Nissan said on Monday it was moving to terminate Ghosn from his chairman's post after finding that he had used company money for personal use and committed several other serious acts of misconduct, according to Reuters.

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"As the misconduct uncovered through our internal investigation constitutes clear violations of the duty of care as directors, Nissan's chief executive officer Hiroto Saikawa will propose to the Nissan Board of Directors to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions as chairman and representative director".

In 2016, Ghosn also took charge at troubled Mitsubishi after Nissan threw it a lifeline, buying a one-third stake for about $2.2 billion as it wrestled with a mileage-cheating scandal that hammered sales.

Renault shares tumbled 13 per cent in Paris to be among the worst performing stocks in Europe.

Nissan's German-listed securities 7201.TG plunged 12 percent.

The current alliance structure has long undervalued Nissan shares held indirectly by Renault investors, he added. He became Nissan president the following year, and was involved in rebuilding the automaker as both president and CEO from June 2001. In addition to this, he received 9.2 million euros in his final year as Nissan chief executive. He has not yet commented on the allegations.

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