After Nissan chairman and Renault CEO, Carlos Ghosn, was found to have improperly disclosed his finances, Renault has named COO Thierry Bollore as temporary deputy CEO.
Rabat – Following Japan’s arrest of Ghosn on Monday, Renault’s board of directors held an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the matter.
Renault said that the 64-year-old Ghosn would remain the company’s chairman and CEO.
The board of directors decided to appoint the company’s chief operating officer, Thierry Bollore, as a temporary deputy CEO who will have the same powers as Ghosn.
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said that Ghosn was “no longer in a position” to lead Renault, in which the French government has a 15 percent stake, BBC reported.
Le Maire added that Renault’s partnership with Nissan was in the interests of France and Japan and of both companies.
Renault holds a 43 percent stake in Nissan. The Japanese carmaker owns a 15 percent stake in Renault and 34 percent of Mitsubishi Motors.
Japan arrested Ghosn for alleged financial misconduct of underreporting his salary by $44million over five years since 2011. The misconduct also included “personal use of company assets.”
An internal Nissan investigation, based on a whistleblower report, found that “over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.”
Regarding Nissan’s accusation of Ghosn, “the Board is unable to comment on the evidence seemingly gathered against Mr. Ghosn by Nissan and the Japanese judicial authorities,” reads a Tuesday Renault statement.
Renault said it will request Nissan “to provide all information in their possession arising from the internal investigations related to Mr. Ghosn.”
Ghosn’s arrest caused a shock in the automotive industry, especially because Ghosn, who leads the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, is considered a highly influential executive within the global automotive industry.
The alliance sold over 10 millions vehicles worldwide in 2017.
On Tuesday, Nissan’s shares fell by 5.45 percent, while Mitsubishi were down 6.85 percent. On Monday, Renault shares tanked more than 8 percent in European trade.
Nissan and Mitsubishi plan to oust Ghosn
Nissan and Mitsubishi are preparing to dismiss Ghosn from his positions.
On Monday, Nissan said that its CEO Hiroto Saikawa would propose immediately ousting Ghosn from his position.
On Tuesday, Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko said the alliance would be hard to manage without Ghosn, Reuters reported.
“I don’t think there is anyone else on Earth like Ghosn who could run Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi,” Masuko told the press in Tokyo.
Japan’s top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday, “It’s important that Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi maintain a stable relationship,” the Japanese Kyodo outlet reported.