Carlos Ghosn will remain Renault CEO despite being detained

21 November, 2018, 17:46 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Nissan has accused Ghosn of under-reporting his salary over a period of several years and 'numerous significant acts of misconduct'. — Reuters pic

It is the view of the prosecutors that Ghosn's alleged receipt of income from the subsidiary and the bonus system, as well as the housing benefits, should have been reported as part of his remuneration.

The board's highest-ranked independent director, Philippe Lagayette, will chair its meetings for the time being, Renault said in a statement.

The crisis at Nissan deepened Wednesday as it emerged the Japanese vehicle giant could itself face charges over the alleged financial misconduct that led to the stunning arrest of its chairman Carlos Ghosn.

"Groupe Renault ensures on a daily basis the efficiency of its partnerships within the framework of the Alliance and is particularly focused on the consolidation of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance", it added.

Ghosn's leadership of the alliance - which began in 1999 as a means of rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy - deserves credit for "being the brainchild" behind a complex yet dynamic alliance that has proven beneficial to all OEMs involved, Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations for Black Book, told AFN. Bollore is a long-time industry veteran who had done stints at both Michelin and Faurecia before coming to Renault. On Nov. 19, Nissan chief executive officer Hiroto Saikawa announced that the company had been conducting an internal investigation lasting "several months".

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However, in France, Renault said it was sticking with the fallen manager as chief executive although it named chief operating officer Thierry Bollore as deputy CEO, handing him the "same powers" as the "temporarily incapacitated" Ghosn.

The sources had said Tuesday that Nissan did not mention in the financial statements billions of yen Ghosn earned from stock appreciation rights - a system similar to stock options that gives bonuses to executives if the company's share price rises above a certain level.

The Nissan CEO nevertheless took aim at a Renault-led alliance setup that "concentrates power in one individual", and said a new board committee would examine its role in the scandal. Renault holds a 43.5% stake in Nissan, while Nissan owns 15% of Renault.

The French government, Renault's biggest shareholder, distanced itself from Ghosn in seeking a replacement. On Tuesday, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told France Info radio that "we will not demand he be removed" from the company because "we have no proof".

Renault's board, meanwhile, said it is requesting that Nissan pass along details of its investigation into Ghosn's alleged wrongdoing.

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