Carlos Ghosn to step down as head of Renault: report

Nissan's board of directors unanimously agrees to sack industry A-lister after arrest in Tokyo, but Ghosn technically remains at Renault

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is preparing to voluntarily step down as chief executive and chairman of Renault, according to a report by the Financial Times. 

The FT says that Ghosn, still in jail in Japan and recently denied bail once again, has already decided to officially step down from his position at the top of the French carmaker. Citing sources close to Renault, the FT says his departure will be confirmed tomorrow at a Renault board meeting. Former Michelin chief executive Jean-Dominique Senard is tipped to be appointed as the new Renault chairman, with Thierry Bollore, currently running the business in Ghosn’s absence, to be made Renault chief executive. 

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Mr Senard is expected to take over Ghosn’s position as the chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance after his appointment at Renault is confirmed.

Last November, Nissan’s board of directors took the decision to sack chairman Carlos Ghosn following his indictment in Japan on charges that he understated his pay.

Nissan’s internal investigation also accuses Ghosn of other acts of misconduct including personal use of company assets. 

Nissan says its investigation unearthed both Ghosn and former deputy Greg Kelly “reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount.” The misconduct has been recorded “over many years”.

The statement also reads: “Nissan has been providing information to the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office and has been fully cooperating with their investigation. We will continue to do so.

“Nissan deeply apologizes for causing great concern to our shareholders and stakeholders. We will continue our work to identify our governance and compliance issues, and to take appropriate measures.”

Nissan stresses that the brand’s long standing partnership with Renault as part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance “remains unchanged”.

Separate statements from Renault have acknowledged Nissan’s position and actions. Renault’s latest communication reads: “Mr. Ghosn, temporarily incapacitated, remains Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The Board of Directors resolved to appoint Mr. Thierry Bolloré on a temporary basis as Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Bolloré will therefore lead the management team of the Group, having the same powers as Mr. Carlos Ghosn.”

What will this mean for the future of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

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