Nissan meets to replace Ghosn, as tensions grow | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 18, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, December 18, 2018

Nissan meets to replace Ghosn, as tensions grow

The board of automaker Nissan was meeting Monday to discuss a replacement for former chairman Carlos Ghosn after his arrest for financial misconduct, as tensions grow in the firm's alliance with Renault.

The Japanese company removed Ghosn from his post last month after he was detained on allegations of under-reporting his salary.

But it appears unlikely to agree on a permanent replacement for him immediately, in part because of open discord with French automaker Renault.

Nissan itself faces charges of allegedly submitting financial documents that understated Ghosn's pay, and Renault is now reportedly seeking more sway on the Japanese firm's board.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Renault urged Nissan in a letter to hold a shareholder meeting to discuss Renault's representation on the firm's nine-member board and within its top management.

It warned Nissan's indictment "creates significant risks to Renault, as Nissan's largest shareholder, and to the stability of our industrial alliance", the Journal reported.

A source with knowledge of the issue confirmed Nissan had received the letter and was planning an extraordinary shareholders' meeting, though regulations on calling such a meeting make it unlikely to happen before February.

Renault's letter is the latest sign of the tensions in the alliance that groups the firm with Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors -- a partnership that Ghosn forged and was often credited with holding together.

While Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors quickly removed Ghosn from leadership positions after his arrest, Renault has kept him on as CEO and chairman.

And while Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa launched a broadside against his former mentor shortly after his arrest, describing his "dark side", Renault has approached the allegations more cautiously.

The decision on replacing Ghosn at Nissan is being led by an advisory committee that includes a former Renault executive, and Japanese media reports suggested it was unlikely to reach a decision on Monday.

"It slows things down, but it isn't the end of the world," a source close to the issue told AFP.

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