Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, one of the auto industry’s most high-profile executives, has been arrested over claims of financial misconduct in Japan, the carmaker has said. An internal investigation revealed “significant acts of misconduct” over many years by Ghosn and another top executive.
The chief executive has said that he will be sacked from the Japanese firm after a board meeting on Thursday.
Nissan issued a statement on Monday saying that Ghosn has also been accused of understating his compensation by as much as 5 billion yen (£35bn) over five years.
Nissan added: “Numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets” by Mr Ghosn and another director Greg Kelly. Nissan has released this statement after Tokyo prosecutors had raided Nissan’s offices on Monday.
This shocking announcement has ripped through a powerful global alliance, slamming the stocks of Nissan and Renault, where Ghosn has also served as chairman. Shares in Renault have dropped by more than 13% after the news of Ghosn’s several acts of misconduct had emerged.
On Monday, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has said at a press conference in Tokyo: “I feel despair, indignation and resentment. (…) These two gentlemen were arrested this evening, that is what I understand”.
The company has announced that as a result of the numerous serious misconducts, Saikawa will propose to Nissan’s board of directors to “promptly remove Ghosn from his positions as chairman and representative director at a meeting on Thursday”. He will also try to remove Kelly from his position.