Carlos Ghosn, the head of the Renault-Nissan Alliance and one of the biggest proponents of electrification amongst the leaders of legacy automakers, was arrested in Tokyo today over some ‘serious misconduct’ of a financial nature.
Along with Nissan director Greg Kelly, Ghosn was arrested for “reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.”
Nissan confirmed that they found out about it from a whistleblower report that also includes other financial misconduct “such as personal use of company assets, and Kelly’s deep involvement has also been confirmed.”
The automaker says that it is working with the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office on their investigation.
They are already moving to remove Ghosn and Kelly from the board:
“As the misconduct uncovered through our internal investigation constitutes clear violations of the duty of care as directors, Nissan’s Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa will propose to the Nissan Board of Directors to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions as Chairman and Representative Director. Saikawa will also propose the removal of Greg Kelly from his position as Representative Director.”
Throughout the years at Nissan, Ghosn achieved a hero status at the company as he has been credited for its “revival”.
He was made CEO of Nissan in 2001 and CEO of Renault in 2005. He gave up his role of CEO at Nissan to focus on the overall “Alliance”, but he remained chairman of the boards of Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi.
Ghosn was also credited for pushing the automakers to be early in the push to electrify the industry with the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.
Last year, he announced plans for the Renault, Nissan & Mitsubishi alliance to launch 12 new all-electric vehicles within the next 5 years.