Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Nissan, Renault break up almighty chairmanship in wake of Ghosn's ouster

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Russell Knight | 12 March, 2019, 19:10

This structure will replace the current organisation that brings together Nissan and Renault, which is headquartered in Amsterdam. The MoU said Senard should be "a natural candidate for the position of vice chairman and a representative director of Nissan". The restrictions say he cannot tamper with evidence, and attending the board meeting could be seen as putting pressure on Nissan employees.

That would replace Dutch-based companies now linking Nissan and Renault and, separately, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, the people said.

Ghosn, who came onboard to save struggling Nissan in 1999, was the architect of the alliance. Smaller Renault bought 43 percent of Nissan ahead of the 1999 rescue. Nissan was reluctant to accept the merger plan out of concern that its autonomy would be undermined.

Greg Kelly, a close aide of Ghosn who was also arrested and indicted for conspiring to understate Ghosn's remuneration for years in securities reports, does not intend to attend the board meeting, according to sources close to the matter.

While the fate of the alliance was the focus of attention, reporters also asked a number of questions regarding its former chief.

Former Nissan chairman Ghosn was released on a $9 million bail last week after spending more than 100 days in a Tokyo detention center.

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The Tokyo District Court on Monday declined to temporarily suspend a condition of Ghosn's bail that stops him from meeting people linked to his case, blocking what would have been a dramatic face off between the once-feted executive and the colleagues he has accused of fomenting a coup.

His attempt to exercise what his lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, called his "duty" by attending the board meeting signals one way he may be fighting back.

"Our future lies in the efficiency of this alliance", he told reporters at Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama.

Ghosn, who strenuously denies all charges against him, was said to be "disappointed" not to be able to attend the meeting.

Nissan dismissed Ghosn as chairman after his November 19 arrest, but he remains on the board. To appoint or remove someone from a directorship, the firm needs approval at a shareholders meeting. "And the third.is to respect people and consider them innocent as long as it has not been proven differently".

The prosecutors subsequently arrested him again on two additional counts of financial misconduct, including for allegedly understating his income on another occasion and an alleged incident of aggravated breach of trust involving the transfer of private investment losses to Nissan during the global financial crisis in 2008.

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