Nissan Chairman To Be Fired For Under-Reporting Income, 'Significant Misconduct'

Nissan Chairman To Be Fired For Under-Reporting Income, 'Significant Misconduct'

In its statement, Nissan said it had launched an investigation into both Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly.

The move comes after Nissan conducted a months-long internal investigation triggered by a report from a whistleblower relating to misconduct by Ghosn and another executive, Representative Director Greg Kelly.

"Nissan has been providing information to the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office and has been fully cooperating with their investigation", the Japanese carmaker said in a statement.

Ghosn voluntarily went with Tokyo prosecutors, who are set to arrest him after questioning, the newspaper said.

Nissan's board of directors was treading a delicate balance between the apparent Ghosn faction of four members - including Ghosn himself - and five Japanese members.

It was a stunning development that left employees "bewildered" and fellow executives shocked and will pose a daunting test for the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, one of the world's biggest automakers. He holds both Brazilian and French citizenship. He also serves as chairman and chief executive of France's Renault and chairman of Mitsubishi Motors.

Ghosn became a nemesis of French unions and left-wing politicians, who saw him as a symbol of capitalism's excesses, particularly its rich executive pay packages. Several media outlets have reported that Ghosn was arrested. At Monday's news conference, Saikawa expressed regret, saying: "Ghosn is also Renault chairman and CEO and chairman of Mitsubishi Motors".

Company officials have said the firms have been increasingly enjoying the benefits of the partnership, with the cost-saving synergy logging a record €5.7 billion (about ¥730 billion) in fiscal 2017.

Ghosn's removal would deprive the manufacturer of a seasoned leader, and follow a number of surprise shakeups in the sector that have brought new CEOs to Volkswagen AG, VW's Audi brand, Daimler AG and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Stock prices for Nissan's partner Renault fell by as much as 13% on the news that Ghosn was to be ousted. In Japan, Ghosn's nickname was "Le Cost Cutter".

Renault SA stock plunged more than 8 percent in France.

Nissan's CEO Hiroto Saikawa said he would propose to the company's board that Ghosn and Kelly be removed from their positions at a meeting scheduled for Thursday.

Ghosn's name became well known in 1999 when he was sent from Renault to financially troubled Nissan as its chief operating officer.

Ghosn is a towering figure in the motor industry and one of very few foreign top executives in Japan, and is revered there for rescuing Nissan from near bankruptcy. French President Emmanuel Macron said the country would work to preserve the stability of Renault and its alliance with Nissan.

The manager, who declined to be identified as he was not permitted to speak to the media, said he was also anxious Ghosn's departure could hit sales as fans of the charismatic leader abandon the company and corporate customers bound by compliance rules put orders on hold due to the scandal.

He said that because of the continuing investigation, he could not disclose many details.

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