Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi to reorganize alliance after Ghosn's removal

Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi pledge new start Carmakers strike deal without Ghosn | Business
Priscilla Morrison | 15 March, 2019, 16:15

Nissan has tasked an external committee with helping to improve corporate governance after the arrest and ouster of Ghosn, who faces charges of financial misconduct including understating his compensation by about ¥9 billion over almost a decade.

That culminated in the formation this week of a new governance board for the alliance between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.

The new board structure will be headed by Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard and replaces two previous bodies based in the Netherlands - one joining Renault and Nissan, the other combining Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors.

The move gave the alliance time to reformulate the structure of its board of directors without having to undo the alliance - for now anyway.

Nissan is considering naming Sadayuki Sakakibara, former chairman of the Japan Business Federation and co-chair of a Nissan government committee, as the chief of the board.

Nissan senior vice president for human resources Arun Bajaj left the firm on 11 March, the company said today. He had made use of his position as head of the company to transfer losses arising from his personal investment upon carmaker Nissan, though he has denied all such charges.

The Japanese automaker was on the verge of bankruptcy 20 years ago, when Renault sent Ghosn to help lead its turnaround.

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After staying for about three months in jail, Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn is granted bail on Tuesday.

He was granted bail last week at the third time of asking, with bail set at 1 billion yen (9 million USA dollars) and released under the provisos that he will not leave Japan and remain under limited video surveillance at the entrance to his residence.

Conditions for his bail restrict his activities to prevent him from any tampering with evidence.

Senard appeared with Saikawa at Tuesday's board meeting at Nissan's Yokohama headquarters to drive home the message that the French-Japanese auto alliance remains strong.

Former Alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn was barred from attending the board meeting by a Tokyo judge.

If his request to attend the board meeting had been approved, he would have been expected to dial into the meeting via teleconference, given the conditions of his bail, according to a person familiar with Nissan's thinking. The court apparently saw his coming in contact with other Nissan officials as a risk. Relations between alliance members have been strained since the shock arrest of Ghosn on financial misconduct charges in November.

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