Carlos Ghosn To Continue As Renault Chairman Despite Corruption Allegations
21 November, 2018, 17:43 | Author: Corey Lynch
France's Renault says it has made a decision to keep its CEO Carlos Ghosn on despite his arrest in Japan on allegations that he misused assets of partner Nissan Motor Co. and misreported his income.
The allegations of misconduct relate to Ghosn's role as chairman of Nissan, which Renault now owns a 43.4 per cent stake in.
Monday's arrest of the millionaire auto tycoon, who is credited with turning around the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Motors alliance, sent shockwaves through the global vehicle sector and corporate Japan. Ghosn was arrested the same day in Tokyo, causing the cost of credit protection to spike to the highest in 2 1/2 years.
Public broadcaster NHK also reported that Nissan had paid for luxury homes for Ghosn in Rio de Janeiro, Beirut, Paris and Amsterdam "without any legitimate business reason".
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.
In a statement released after the meeting, the Renault board said it had chose to ask its partner Nissan to "provide all information in their possession arising from the internal investigations related to Mr Ghosn".
Earlier this year, Ghosn signed a contract that would have run through 2022.
Nissan's board was due to meet Thursday to consider dismissing Ghosn from his role as chairman.
"Ghosn is likely the most successful foreign chairman in Japan", said Kosuke Sato, a senior economist at the Japan Research Institute.
Nissan has accused Ghosn of under-reporting his salary over a period of several years and "numerous significant acts of misconduct".
Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan, told AFP that Ghosn was "a victim of his own hubris and success". "What he did was unprecedented in Japanese corporate history". There have also been reports that he charged travel expenses for family vacations. Even as the French government-which holds a 15% stake in Renault-called for interim management to replace the besieged CEO, the leadership backed him firmly.
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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