Monday , August 15 2022

The Nissan Committee unanimously votes to abolish Ghosn as chairman


Nissan Motor Co has unanimously voted to remove President Carlos Ghosn on Thursday following the arrest of heavy industry shock, inaugurating a period of uncertainty for the 19-year alliance with Renault.

The Japanese company said its board also voted to eliminate Greg Kelly – who, like Ghosn was arrested on charges of financial misconduct – from his post of director.

The moves, leaving the vacant president seat, came despite the fact that Renault had asked the Nissan Council before its meeting to postpone the removal of Ghosn, sources said close to the subject.

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The Franco-Japanese Alliance, extended in 2016 to include Japan's Mitsubishi Motors, was hit by the 64-year-old Ghosn arrest in Japan on Monday.

Ghosn has shaped the alliance and imposed a deeper link, including a possible full fusion of Renault-Nissan at the French government's call, despite strong reserves at the Japanese firm.

Japanese prosecutors said Ghosn and Kelly had conspired to underestimate Ghosn's damages to Nissan in five years in 2010, saying it was half the current 10 billion yen ($ 88 million).

Shin Kukimoto, deputy prosecutor at Tokyo District Prosecutor's Office, said Thursday that court approval was received the day before to hold Ghosn for 10 days, but could not comment if he accepted the accusations.

Nissan directors have five seats on the board of nine members, Renault loyalists have two seats, and the rest are owned by non-affiliated external directors, a former office and a racing driver.

With Ghosn and Kelly still in detention, none of the men managed to vote or defend at the meeting.

Renault has refrained from launching Ghosn as president and CEO.

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But Mitsubishi Motors intends to remove Ghosn from acting as chairman at a board meeting next week.

Against the backdrop of growing uncertainty over the future of the alliance, the Japanese industry minister and finance minister of France are due to meet on Thursday in Paris to look for ways to stabilize it.

"For me, the future of the alliance is the biggest deal," a senior Nissan official told reporters on Wednesday when asked about Ghosn's arrest. "It is obvious that in this age we have to do things together. It would be impossible in part."

Prohibition of circumstances

Nissan said on Monday that an internal investigation triggered by an informant warning indicated that Ghosn had engaged in a crime involving the personal use of company money and long-term reporting of its income for years.

Ghosn and Kelly did not comment on the allegations, and Reuters failed to reach them.

Prosecutors have said Ghosn is held in Tokyo's detention center, known for his austere regime, away from his usual lifestyle, including daytime sleep restrictions and the requirement to wear a mask when meeting with visitors for prevent the spread of the disease.

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The detention facility "is pretty cold this year," said Internet entrepreneur and fraudulent convict Takufumi Horie.

Motors Otsuru, a former prosecutor who is known for supervising the case against Horie, was hired as Ghosn's lawyer, NHK reported. Otsuru's law office refused to confirm that he represented Ghosn and said that no one was available for comment.

Asahi Shimbun said on Thursday, quoting anonymous sources, that Ghosn gave Kelly's order via email to make false statements about his remuneration. Prosecutors in Tokyo have probably confiscated associated emails and can use them as evidence, the report said.

The Yomiuri newspaper, Japan's largest diary, cited anonymous sources saying that Nissan's internal investigation found that Ghosn had instructed since 2002 that about $ 100,000 a year be paid the higher sister as a reward for a non-existent consultative role.

The paper said Nissan had discovered by investigation that Ghosn's sister had lived and managed a luxury apartment in Rio de Janeiro that the company bought through an overseas subsidiary but did not provide any advice to the carmaker. Nissan shared the information with prosecutors, Yomiuri said.

Nissan shares ended 0.8 percent, according to a larger market, ahead of the Board meeting.

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Nissan has held a board meeting to remove President Carlos Ghosn after arresting his former leader's shock since it may be a long period of uncertainty in the 19-year alliance with Renault. Reuters

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