France Wants To Remove Carlos Ghosn As Renault Head After His Misconduct

Marco Green
November 21, 2018

Nissan told Renault's board on Monday it had evidence of potential wrongdoing at Renault-Nissan BV, the Dutch venture overseeing alliance operations under Renault's ultimate control, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Renault's board also chose to request that Nissan provide all information in its possession arising from its internal investigations that led to Ghosn's arrest for alleged financial improprieties.

Renault and Nissan both declined to comment.

Ghosn is accused of under-reporting income of about $44 million and misusing company funds at Nissan, where he was also chairman. The French vehicle manufacturer said that the new arrangement was made to "preserve the interests of the group and the continuity of its operations", and that Bolloré will have the "same powers" as Ghosn.

Renault is opting to wait for the Japanese investigation, allowing Ghosn to keep his job as CEO and position as board chairman.

The plan raised hackles in Tokyo.

Renault board asks Nissan to share Ghosn evidence
Renault keeps Ghosn as CEO despite arrest in Japan

But Nissan CEO Saikawa has publicly played down that prospect, and had harsh words for Ghosn, his one-time mentor, at a press conference late on Monday. Nissan, while nearly 60% bigger than Renault by sales, remains the junior partner in their shareholding hierarchy with a smaller reciprocal 15% non-voting stake in Renault.

Renault's decision not to strip Ghosn of his duties puts it at odds with alliance partner Nissan - which Renault owns a stake in - and follows Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa saying he felt "despair, indignation and resentment" as Ghosn's alleged actions.

"Of course this isn't the only cause, but it's one of the factors or drivers".

President Emmanuel Macron said France would "remain extremely vigilant regarding the stability of the alliance", the world's largest automotive grouping by sales.

Speaking to the media in the wake of claims leveled against Ghosn, Bruno Le Maire said he is "no longer in a position" to lead Renault, BBC News reports. "During this period, the board will meet on a regular basis under the chairmanship of the lead independent director".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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