Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi unveil new joint board

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 15, 2019

Nissan won concessions from Renault yesterday in its struggle for greater influence within their carmaking partnership with the creation of a consensus-based decision-making structure.

A court rejected Ghosn's request to attend a Nissan board meeting that was held Tuesday.

The move gave the alliance time to reformulate the structure of its board of directors without having to undo the alliance - for now anyway.

Senard also announced he would "not be seeking" to replace Ghosn as head of Nissan but would be a "clear candidate" to be vice-president of the Japanese auto giant.

Although he was nearly immediately fired as the head of the company when the allegations surfaced, he is still a board member until April 8, when an extraordinary meeting of shareholders is likely to remove him.

The notice, signed by Nissan President Hiroto Saikawa, will be sent out Thursday, Nissan said.

Nissan is part of an alliance with Renault SA of France, and more recently with Japan's Mitsubishi Motors, that was largely cobbled together by Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades.

Nissan also said Arun Bajaj, who served as alliance human resources chief, will exit the company.

The date for his trial has not been set.

The new board, which consists of the CEOs of the three company's and Renault's chairman, will meet every month in Paris or Tokyo and oversee various projects, helping to make the companies' operations more efficient, they said.

It was a lengthy legal battle after which Ghosn will be released on Wednesday for a bail amount of 1 billion Yens, which amounts to around $9 million.

If his request to attend the board meeting had been approved, he would have been expected to dial into the meeting via teleconference, given the conditions of his bail, according to a person familiar with Nissan's thinking.

Conditions for his bail restrict his activities to prevent him from any tampering with evidence. The court apparently saw his coming in contact with other Nissan officials as a risk.

Senard told reporters that Ghosn is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. He also said he would not be chairman at Nissan but vice chairman.

Currently, Renault owns a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, with Nissan in turn holding a 15 percent stake in its French partner.

Ghosn's dramatic arrest in November has caused concerns about the future of the three-way alliance, the world's largest maker of automobiles excluding heavy trucks.

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