Report: Renault Exec Received Secret Pay Approved by Ghosn

January 11, 2019 at 4:41 PM

Renault SA’s general secretary received e €500,000 ($573,000) in extra pay that was approved by Renault-Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn but not reported to the French carmaker’s board, Reuters says.

The news service cites documents and sources regarding payments made to Mouna Sepehri by Renault-Nissan BV, a Dutch holding company that oversees the Renault-Nissan alliance. Ghosn also chairs the RNBV board.

The payments were approved by Ghosn and former Nissan Motor Co. board member Greg Kelly. Both men were arrested in Japan in November for allegedly failing to report $43 million in deferred compensation for Ghosn.

Reuters says nothing indicates the payments were illegal. But it points out they do highlight questions of governance and potential conflicts of interest.

The records cited by Reuters show Sepehri, who sits on the RNBV’s management board, was paid €200,000 in 2013 and €100,000 per year in 2014-2016 for her work in that capacity.

Loic Dessaint, who heads shareholder advisory firm Proxinvest, tells the news service that board secretaries in general should avoid influence by a CEO who offers to pay them through a subsidiary.