CEOs to Share Leadership of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

November 29, 2018 at 3:24 PM

The CEOs of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors agreed today to jointly head their alliance.

The decision to rule by committee comes less than two weeks after Carlos Ghosn, chairman of the alliance and all three companies, was arrested in Japan on suspicion of financial misconduct. Nissan and MMC have since removed him as their chairman.

Ghosn continues as chairman at Renault. But last week the company’s board temporarily assigned his CEO role to Chief Operating Office Thierry Bollare.

Renault and Nissan, which created the alliance 19 years ago under Ghosn’s leadership, have the right to name the partnership’s chairman and vice-chairman, respectively. MMC, in which Nissan acquired a 34% controlling stake in 2016, joined the alliance last year.

The partnership used today’s meeting—its first since Ghosn’s arrest—to establish a tone of normalcy and underscore its commitment to continue without Ghosn. Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa tells reporters the three CEOs are “completely aligned” on the partnership’s direction.

The CEOs say they discussed operations but not executive appointments or the equity structure of the alliance. Nissan has been pushing for a more balanced ownership arrangement among the partners. Renault currently owns 43% of Nissan’s voting rights. Nissan holds a nonvoting 15% stake in Renault.

Last year the alliance surpassed Volkswagen Group as the world’s largest seller of passenger vehicles after delivering a combined 10.61 million cars and light trucks. Nissan contributed about 60% of the total volume.