French minister announces Ghosn resignation from Renault
French minister announces Ghosn resignation from Renault
Renault names new leaders as jailed Carlos Ghosn bows out - Autoblog
26 January, 2019, 00:00
Renault SA is preparing for a shift in leadership, with Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said to be ready to resign more than two months after his arrest in Japan for alleged financial crimes rocked the world's biggest car-making alliance.
A senior director from the firm "received last night the letter of resignation from Carlos Ghosn", who remains detained in Japan, Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told AFP.
Renault's board will be asked to appoint Jean-Dominique Senard and Thierry Bollore to replace departing Chairman and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn when it meets later on Thursday, a French government spokesman said. He's been charged with understating his income by tens of millions of dollars at Nissan and transferring personal trading losses to the company. While expressing support to split Ghosn's posts, he said the "absolute priority" of the next chairman would be to strengthen the alliance, while the chief executive would be responsible for the day-to-day running of the company.
Senard, 65, now faces the task of soothing relations with Nissan and resuming talks on a new alliance structure to cement the 20-year-old partnership.
Renault also enjoyed championship success under Ghosn in 2005 and 2006.
"The new Chairman of the Board of Directors of Renault will have to evaluate and, if necessary, change Renault's governance in order to ensure the transition to the new structure", a statement said.
Prosecutors indicted Ghosn, Kelly and Nissan in December for failing to disclose more than $80m in additional compensation for 2010-18 that Ghosn had arranged to be paid later.
The board chose Jean-Dominique Senard of Michelin to be chairman and Renault executive Thierry Bollore as CEO.
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Both men deny the deferred pay was illegal or required disclosure, while not contesting the agreements' existence.
Renault's board met on Thursday to formally accept Ghosn's resignation and outline his successors.
Nissan now owns a 15 percent non-voting stake in its French parent and 34 percent in Mitsubishi Motors, a third major partner in their manufacturing alliance.
If Senard takies the lead at the partnership, the role of Bollore, who started his career with Michelin, will be somewhat less prominent.
Bolloré was elevated from chief operating officer to interim CEO after Ghosn was arrested in Japan in November 2018.
Nissan is wary of any such move.
"Communication between the boards of the two companies has been a bit difficult" since Ghosn's arrest, the Nissan CEO said.
Bollore had been seen as Ghosn's heir apparent since February, when he was promoted to chief operating officer, and had been handling numerous day-to-day duties at Renault even before his boss's arrest. "So I welcome this new leadership of Renault", Mr Saikawa said.
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