Published: Mon, November 19, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn ‘arrested’, to be dismissed for financial misconduct

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn ‘arrested’, to be dismissed for financial misconduct

The Yokohama-based company, one of the world's largest automakers, said the violations were discovered during an investigation over several months that was instigated by a whistleblower.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office declined to comment.

Nissan's spokesman Nicholas Maxfield was not available for comment. Ghosn gave up his role as chief executive officer of Nissan last year and has said that he may step down as CEO of Renault before his four-year term ends in 2022, fueling speculation the alliance could lose its architect and main leader for the past two decades.

Public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News also reported that Ghosn, who doubles as chairman and chief executive of France's Renault (RENA.PA), was to be arrested.

Carlos Ghosn is set to be removed from his role as Nissan chairman after an internal investigation found that he has under-reported his salary to Japanese authorities.

Ghosn is credited with helping engineer a remarkable turnaround at Nissan over the past two decades, resuscitating the Japanese automaker from near bankruptcy after he was sent in by alliance partner Renault SA of France.

Prosecutors were prepared to arrest Ghosn, 64, after further questioning, the sources said.

Renault shares fell sharply in Paris, and were down 5.5% in early session trading, among the worst performing stocks in Europe.

Nissan's German-listed securities 7201.TG plunged 12 percent.

The allegations are a serious blow at a time when Nissan and another alliance member, Mitsubishi Motor Co., are still overcoming scandals over their quality testing reporting.

"He is the man of charisma for the alliance".

Mr Ghosn joined Nissan in 1999 after Renault bought a controlling stake and became its CEO in 2001, remaining in that post until past year. The companies have worked as an alliance for nearly a two decades and Brazilian-born Mr Ghosn has led a dramatic turnaround at Nissan over the last two decades, rescuing it from near-bankruptcy. In 2016, Ghosn became Mitsubishi Motors' chairman.

In June, Renault shareholders approved Ghosn's €7.4 million (US$8.45 million) compensation for 2017.

Ghosn has a high profile in Japan and is known as a major advocate of the country's auto sector.

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