One of the automotive industry's most important figures has been arrested overnight, with Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn the subject of an investigation by Japanese authorities for underreporting his salary to the tune of five billion yen ($61m), as well as facing allegations of using company assets for personal use.
Mr Ghosn and another Nissan director, Greg Kelly, have both fallen foul of the Japanese authorities and of Nissan itself, with the company releasing a statement today that claimed the pair had been: “reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount.
“In regards to Ghosn, numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets, and Kelly’s deep involvement has also been confirmed.”
The charges follow a long-standing internal investigation which was first sparked by a whistleblower. Both Ghosn and Kelly are expected to be fired from Nissan in the coming days, with company heavyweights hinting that more revelations will come to light. What today’s news means for the company, as well as the broader Renault-Nissan Alliance, which also includes Mitsubishi, remains to be seen.
Ghosn was seen by many as the architect of that agreement, now the biggest alliance in the automotive world. The high-flying executive is also chairman and CEO of Renault and chairman of Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
“On behalf of the company I would like to offer my apologies. I am sorry about the commotion and anxiety caused,” says Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa.
“I feel despair, indignation and resentment. As the details are disclosed I believe that people will feel the same way as I feel today.”
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