The board members at Nissan voted on Thursday and came to a unanimous decision to terminate Carlos Ghosn. The industry heavy-weight shocked the world with his arrest and the introduction of uncertainty for the 19-year relationship it holds with Renault.
Nissan has also stated that the board voted to remove Greg Kelly, previously a representative director, from his position. Kelly, like Ghosn, has also been arrested due to the allegations of three types of financial misconduct.
Terminating Ghosn leaves the chairman position open. Regardless of Renault’s board urging Nissan to delay the ousting of their chairman, Nissan’s board voted unanimously, according to Reuters’ sources.
The alliance between Renault and Nissan expanded in 2016 when it welcomed Japan’s famous Mitsubishi Motors, and the three automotive powerhouses have been rattled to the core.
During his time as chair, Ghosn shaped the alliances and was even pushing for deeper ties, including a possible full merging of Renault-Nissan. The French Government was urging Ghosn to push the Franco-Japanese merger, but Nissan continued to have strong reservations.
Prosecutors have stated that both Ghosn and Kelly have conspired with each other to understate Ghosn’s salary at Nissan purposely. At the time of the investigation, officials were able to go back over five years to report that only half of the billion yen in Ghosn’s compensation got reported.
The deputy public prosecutor within the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office has gone on the record to say that the court approved a ten-day arrest on Ghosn and Kelly, but was unable to comment on if there has been any admittance to the strong allegations.
Nissan has a nine-member board; five of the seats are held by Nissan executives, two seats held by Renault loyalists, and the other two are held by a former bureaucrat and a race car driver. Ghosn and Kelly were both detained, and neither of them was able to make a vote or defend their actions at the meeting.
Currently, Renault has decided to delay firing Ghosn as their chairman and CEO, though Mitsubishi Motors is holding a board meeting next week to remove Ghosn from his position. Both France’s finance member and Japan’s industry minister are scheduled to meet in Paris to discuss the uncertain and very unsteady future of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.