Nissan moving to fire chairman Ghosn for financial misconduct

Cornelia Mascio
Novembre 19, 2018

The newspaper claims prosecutors had begun searching the offices of Nissan's headquarters and other locations on Monday.

Nissan said it would brief reporters on Monday evening.

The alliance sold 5.54 million vehicles worldwide in the first six months, up 5 percent from the same period a year ago, according to data from the three companies.

In early trading deals, Renault shares had plunged as low as 55.15 to be among the worst performing stocks in Europe, according to data from Bloomberg. A spokesman for Renault couldn't be reached for immediate comment.

Investigators with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office were looking at possible violations of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law that relate to false entries on corporate financial statements. The country owns around 15 percent of Renault, Nissan's partner, and supported Ghosn's renewal at the helm of the French automaker.

The firm said it had been conducting an internal investigation for several months which showed Mr Ghosn had been under-reporting his compensation.

Carlos Ghosn arrested; Nissan likely to sack him
Carlos Ghosn to be arrested in Japan on suspected financial law breach, removed as Nissan chairman

One of the most prominent personalities in the auto industry today, Carlos Ghosn is considered to be the man who helped turn-around its fortunes, and saving Nissan from bankruptcy. The allegations also concern a Nissan representative director, Greg Kelly, it said.

"Nissan deeply apologises for causing great concern to our shareholders and stakeholders", the company added.

He served as Nissan's chief executive from 2001 until April 2017, becoming chief executive of Renault in 2005, leading the two major automakers simultaneously. "We will continue our work to identify our governance and compliance issues, and to take appropriate measures". But plans for an orderly succession - and potentially the entire future of the rather unwieldy Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi structure - may well have been thrown wide open.

Ghosn became chairman of Mitsubishi Motors in December 2016.

Ghosn also heads Renault SA in France.

For the past two decades, he has maintained an unusually high profile in a nation where foreign chief executives of major Japanese companies are still relatively rare.

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