11/19/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Nissan to Oust Ghosn as Chairman

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Nissan Motor Co. says it will dismiss Carlos Ghosn as chairman on Thursday after he was arrested in Japan because of “significant” financial misconduct.

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Nissan Motor Co. says it will dismiss Carlos Ghosn as chairman on Thursday after he was arrested in Japan because of “significant” financial misconduct.

Nissan’s board will meet on Nov. 22 to remove Ghosn following a lengthy internal investigation that was triggered by a whistleblower. Also being fired is Greg Kelly,  who also was arrested in Japan because of his “deep involvement” in the wrongdoing.

Ghosn, 64, and Kelly, 62, both are representative directors. The term is used in Japan to identify executives who have the right to enter into legal contracts on behalf of their company.

Nissan says its probe uncovered “numerous and significant acts of misconduct” that include Ghosn’s personal use of company assets and years of underreporting his compensation. Nissan says CEO Hiroto Saikawa will propose on Thursday the board removal of both men from the company. MMC’s board also is expected to fire Ghosn.

A 40-year veteran of the auto industry, Ghosn also is chairman and CEO of Renault SA and chairman of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

Ghosn joined Nissan in 1996 after serving as chairman and CEO of Michelin North America. He became chief operating officer of Nissan three years later, president in 2000 and CEO in 2001.

Considered a corporate miracle worker in Japan, Ghosn is credited with saving Nissan from bankruptcy and, when MMC was added to the Renault-Nissan alliance in 2016, turning around that struggling carmaker too. Renault owns 43% of Nissan, and Nissan holds a 15% stake in Renault. Nissan also owns a controlling 34% stake in MMC.

Kelly joined Nissan North America in 1988 and became director of human resources in 1993. By 2009 he was a senior vice president at Nissan. He was named a representative director in 2012 and was promoted to head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance talent management in 2014.