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Nissan scandal: Audit committee hints that facts point to Carlos Ghosn’s misconduct

The Nissan-Ghosn episode took another turn on Wednesday after an external committee reviewing governance at the Japanese automaker stated the existence of enough facts that point to violations and the private use of company funds by former Nissan Motor Co chairman Carlos Ghosn.

This comes after a three-month audit relating to a scandal that shook the global auto industry. The committee also stressed on Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa’s role in Ghosn’s salary arrangement.

According to reports, the committee came up with 38 recommendations to lift Nissan — one hinting that Nissan’s top executives should not hold executive positions at Renault or Mitsubishi Motors Corp, and another that most directors be independent.

A CIVIL SUIT AND MUCH MORE

In January, reports came out that Ghosn might face a civil suit from the carmaker after his arrest in Tokyo for allegedly using company funds for personal needs.

Ghosn, who was still the chairman and chief executive of Nissan’s partner Renault SA, was charged with three counts of financial misconduct. He was held at a detention center in Tokyo, Japan for almost two months.

Ghosn’s bail request was denied by a Tokyo court denied his request for release on bail, which might add to the troubles of the executive with him required to be in custody before his trial begins. Ghosn denied the alleged charges against him.

Nissan to terminate Carlos Ghosn from chairman’s post
Carlos Ghosn (Courtesy: Nissan official press images)

 

GHOSN’S ROAD TO THE AXE

Nissan has been proactive in the incarceration of Ghosn, as back in November 2018 the Japanese carmaker said that the then Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Carlos Ghosn will soon lose his post after allegations that he used company money for personal use and other acts of misconduct.

Earlier in June, when Renault shareholders approved Carlos Ghosn’s $8.5 million in compensation for 2017, they had not expected this to happen. He had also received 9.2 million euros in his final year as Nissan chief executive.

According to Nissan, it investigated what was alleged on a whistleblower report involving Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly. “The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation,” read the Nissan statement in November.

The carmaker also said that CEO Hiroto Saikawa would push for a proposal to the Nissan board to remove both Ghosn and Kelly.

The news of misconduct then sent shockwaves since it was outed as Ghosn who was responsible for saving Nissan from near bankruptcy and turning it around.

 

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