Nissan asking shareholders to vote to oust Ghosn as director

Marco Green
March 15, 2019

The shuffling of key executives underscores the unwinding of a power structure built up during nearly two decades by Ghosn, who is accused of falsifying financial records and breach of trust by Japanese prosecutors.

Arun Bajaj, the alliance's senior VP for human resources, exited Nissan as of March 11 after a leave of absence, the Yokohama, Japanbased carmaker said in a statement yesterday.

Renault has sidelined a senior executive close to Carlos Ghosn, as the French auto maker and its Japanese affiliate Nissan continue to overhaul management in the wake of the financial scandal engulfing their former chairman. Shareholders' approval is needed to remove him from the board.

The notice says the agenda also includes the election of Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard as a Nissan director, on the condition that Ghosn is ousted.

Sepehri's move, first reported by Bloomberg, ends her oversight of corporate governance, communications, legal and public affairs at Renault, as well as her influential role as secretary to the board.

The notice will be sent out Thursday, Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday.

If found guilty, Ghosn, widely recognized as the brains and brawn behind Nissan's rapid turnaround from near bankruptcy since 1999, could be facing up to 15 years in jail.

The date for his trial has not been set.

"The proposed arrangement will have no impact on the existence of the (alliance agreement) and the cross-shareholding structure, which will both remain in place", Renault said.

Asked about Ghosn, Senard said: "I have two or three major principles in my life".

Fortunately, a Tokyo court gave them what they wanted, banning the former boss from taking part in the meeting of the board of the directors.

But his bail conditions prevent him from contact with anyone else involved in his case - including Saikawa, who also attended Tuesday's meeting.

Prosecutors submitted a document to the Tokyo District Court from Nissan stating its opposition to Ghosn attending Tuesday's board meeting, Ghosn's lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters. This has always been an issue for Nissan executives, who believe the larger Japanese automaker shouldn't be controlled by the small European brand.

Ghosn owns more than 3 million Nissan shares, or somewhat less than 0.1 percent of total shares, according to the most recent disclosure. Before his arrest in November, Ghosn had been chairman of all three individual companies while also leading the alliance.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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