Mitsubishi Motors’ board members have unanimously decided to dismiss Carlos Ghosn as the company’s chairman and representative director following his arrest.
Rabat – Mitsubishi’s board made the decision at a meeting on Monday, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.
Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko will temporarily take over as the Japanese carmaker’s chairman.
Masuko said, “Our proposal was a very difficult one. But we had to make a decision with a priority of what to do to protect the company, our workers and their families.”
The motion asserts “Ghosn’s arrest in Japan makes it impossible for him to carry out his duties.” It also says his alleged misconduct raises legal compliance issues, according to NHK.
Ghosn, who led the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, is considered a highly influential executive within the global automotive industry.
On November 20, Masuko said the alliance would be hard to manage without Ghosn.
“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.
On November 21, Japan’s top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said, “It’s important that Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi maintain a stable relationship,” the Japanese Kyodo outlet reported.
Mitsubishi asked Ghosn to serve as chairman in 2016 when the company was implicated in a scandal over falsified fuel-efficiency data.
Renault, where Ghosn is CEO, made a different decision from Mitsubishi and Nissan.
One day after Ghosn’s arrest, the French carmaker’s board of directors decided to keep the 64-year-old Ghosn as the company’s chairman and CEO.
Renault instead named COO Thierry Bollore as temporary deputy CEO and granted him the same powers as Ghosn.
Ghosn: Nissan was responsible for salary reports
Japan arrested both Ghosn and his aide, former Nissan representative director Greg Kelly, last Monday on suspicion of underreporting Ghosn’s compensation by tens of millions of dollars over an 8-year period. Nissan also suspects Ghosn of using company funds for personal expenses as well as other financial misconduct.
Sources said Nissan decided to pay Ghosn around $17 million a year, but that only half of the sum was reported in the securities report.
Ghosn is suspected of giving instructions to Kelly to report that his annual income was about $9 million, according to NHK sources.
Speaking to Tokyo prosecutors during questioning, Ghosn denied underreporting his remuneration in Nissan’s securities reports, sources told the Japanese public broadcaster NHK on Sunday.
Ghosn told prosecutors he “had no intention” of falsifying the financial statements.
Ghosn reportedly argued that Nissan was responsible for salary reports. He said the Japanese carmaker “made decisions on how much pay would be declared in securities reports.”