Nissan chairman arrested over misconduct
Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of Japanese carmaker Nissan, has been arrested by Japanese authorities.
He has been accused of under-reporting his earnings by millions of dollars, and also of exploiting company assets for personal benefit.
These allegations arose following a months-long internal investigation, itself prompted by a whistle-blower.
Another senior executive, Greg Kelly, is also reportedly “deeply involved” in the misconduct.
Ghosn is also the chairman and chief executive of French carmarker Renault and the chairman of Mitsubishi Motors. Renault which owns a 42% stake in Nissan, and Nissan owns a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors.
Nissan says that it will be sacking the Brazillian-born Ghosn, who first took the reins at the company in 2001. Mitsubishi and Renault are both expected to terminate Ghosn in short order.
Ghosn is credited for engineering financial turnarounds at both Renault and Nissan.
For his role in changing the fortunes of the latter, he was even immortalised in a Japanese comic book.
However, Nissan says that his “long reign” and the immense “concentration of power in one individual” was likely the cause of the current scandal.
“The problem of governance was significant. Looking back, after 2005 when he became CEO of both Renault and Nissan, we did not really discuss the implications,” said Nissan’s CEO, Hiroto Saikawa.
Ghosn had stepped down as Nissan CEO last year.