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Nissan to remove Carlos Ghosn over ‘serious misconduct’

Nissan has said it plans to oust chairman Carlos Ghosn as it accuses him of “serious misconduct”.

Nissan said it was planning to oust chairman Carlos Ghosn

According to the carmaker, both Ghosn and another senior executive Greg Kelly had been under reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report. It also said “numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets” by Ghosn and involving Kelly too.

Nissan said the misconduct has been uncovered in an internal investigation based on a whistleblower report and that it had been providing information to the Japanese Public Prosecutors Officer.

It added that the misconduct was a clear violation of both directors’ duty of care and that its CEO Hiroto Saikawa would propose to the Nissan Board of Directors to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions as chairman and representative director. Saikawa will also propose the removal of Greg Kelly from his position as representative director.

Ghosn joined Nissan as COO in June 1999 and served as CEO from June 2001 until April 2017 when he was succeeded by Hiroto Saikawa. He has held the role of chairman since 2009 and is credited with having turned Nissan round from bankruptcy under its Revival Plan.

Ghosn became CEO of fellow Alliance partner Renault in May 2005 and was also named chairman in 2009 while in 2016, he became chairman of Mitsubishi. He is also chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

In a statement, Nissan said it “deeply apologises for causing great concern to our shareholders and stakeholders. We will continue our work to identify our governance and compliance issues, and to take appropriate measures.”

Renault and Mitsubishi have not issued a comment.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.