Nissan sacks chairman Ghosn following arrest

Nissan board dismisses Ghosn as chairman

The board also made a decision to strip representative director status from Greg Kelly, the American director accused of being a co-conspirator in Ghosn's alleged misdeeds.

Ghosn is suspected of under-reporting $44.6 million in income from 2011 to 2015, according to Tokyo prosecutors.

The paper said Nissan had found through the investigation that Ghosn's sister had in fact been living in and managing a luxury apartment in Rio de Janeiro that the company had bought through an overseas subsidiary, but had done no advisory work for the carmaker.

Mr Ghosn was arrested by prosecutors in Tokyo on Monday for allegedly underreporting his income to Japanese regulators by about 5 billion yen ($60.9 million) over several years. Nissan did not immediately name an interim chairman.

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn waits for the French President Emmanuel Macron to arrive for a visit of the Renault factory in Maubeuge northeastern France on November 8, 2018. If successful, the merger would have effectively cemented Nissan's submissive status beneath the controlling power of Renault.

After the board presentation and its summary of findings, however, the tune in Paris had changed. The accusations against Ghosn are "unusual, precise, and serious", he said. "We know there's a flourishing conspiracy theory about all this, but that's really not our thinking".

Nissan reaffirmed its support of its alliance with Renault.

Japanese media are reporting that Nissan Motor Co.'s board of directors voted to dismiss Carlos Ghosn as its chairman after he was arrested on suspicion of falsifying financial reports and other misconduct.

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"This would not have been proposed if there had been any doubt and the results of the investigations have already been presented to the board members", a source close to the company told AFP.

According to Automotive News, under the Japanese system of corporate governance, only representative directors can legally speak for the company when signing contracts and deals. The responsibility also brings special liabilities.

Shin Kukimoto, a deputy public prosecutor at the Tokyo district public prosecutors office, refused to comment Thursday on whether Ghosn, who has yet to be charged, had admitted to the allegations. No date has been set for a shareholders meeting.

Kelly, 62, joined Nissan in the 1988, and became a board member in 2012. Renault holds 43.4 percent of Nissan, and Nissan has 15-percent non-voting stake in Renault.

Nissan, while nearly 60 per cent bigger than Renault by sales, remains junior in their shareholding structure. At the time, the French government - which is Renault's single biggest shareholder with a 15 percent stake - was moving to increase its control over Renault.

Prosecutors have said the two men conspired to understate Mr Ghosn's compensation, starting in 2010. That differed from the Japanese approach, where the vote to remove him as chairman was unanimous. Thus, Nissan would bank on Renault to put its 43.4 percent voting power behind whatever recommendation comes out of the November 22 meeting of Nissan's board.

While they acknowledged that Ghosn has been the keystone to the alliance, the partnership is viewed as more important to Renault and to French industry than the manager's personal situation.

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