Ex-chairman Ghosn expected to be removed from Nissan’s board

Ex-chairman Ghosn expected to be removed from Nissan’s board

Nissan Motor is expected to remove Carlos Ghosn from its board at an extraordinary shareholders meeting after the former chairman and the Japanese carmaker were charged with financial misconduct.

Japan’s second-largest carmaker will propose the dismissal of Ghosn from its board on Monday after removing him as chairman in November following his arrest, while bringing in Renault’s new chairman Jean-Dominique Senard as a new member.

They will also likely jettison as a board member Greg Kelly, a US executive who served as Ghosn’s right-hand man and who also faces charges in Japan.

In 1999, Renault sent Ghosn to spearhead a turnaround at Nissan, which nearly went bankrupt, after forging a capital alliance with the Japanese carmaker. 

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance sold more than 10 million vehicles in 2018 after Ghosn reinvigorated Nissan.

On Friday, the Tokyo District Court approved the detention of the 65-year-old until April 14 after prosecutors took Ghosn into custody over a new allegation that he was responsible for Nissan sustaining a $5m loss.

This period can be extended for a further 10 days if the court allows, meaning Ghosn is unlikely to be released any time soon.

Thursday’s arrest came nearly a month after he was released on bail from the Tokyo Detention Centre in early March after 108 days in custody.

Ghosn faces three separate charges. The first two relate to the alleged deferring of around $80m in income and concealing this in official documents to shareholders.

The third, more complex, charge is that he attempted to transfer personal losses to Nissan and paid a Saudi contact who provided collateral from company funds.

Just before his rearrest, Ghosn had appeared on Twitter to announce a news conference for April 11 – which will now not happen barring a further surprise.

However, he gave a combative interview to France’s TF1 television channel where he again denounced his downfall as a Nissan “plot” and voiced fears he might not receive a fair trial.

“It’s obvious it’s a plot,” said Ghosn. “Everything needs to be put on the table. Of course, I have names.

“Some of them you have seen in the press, but there are others that haven’t been in the press.” 

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