Present Chairman of the Nissan Motor Company Carlos Ghosn has been arrested in Tokyo after a suspected breach of Japanese financial trading law. Ghosn who is credited with forming the alliance between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, is now suspected of manipulating financial filings and has been accused of under-reporting his own compensation as well. In fact, Nissan issued an official statement quoting to Reuters that ‘Chairman Carlos Ghosn had used company money for personal use and that it had been investigating possible improper practices of Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly for several months. It has also said its board would propose that Ghosn is terminated from the chairman post swiftly.’
In addition, Nissan said that they will hold a press conference in Tokyo later this evening to fully reveal details of the investigation to press. While Renault spokesperson could not be contacted for comment, shares of the French Auto manufacturer spiralled 6.2% down, while Nissan global depositary receipts sank more than 11%. Ghosn was already planning a realignment of his career saying that he would reduce his involvement with each individual companies and continue to head their alliance. As the three companies were reconsidering the structure of the alliance and were considering an overall merger. Ghosn gave up his role as the chief executive officer of Nissan last year and has said that he may step down as CEO of Renault before his four-year term ends in 2022, fuelling speculation the alliance could lose its architect and main leader for the past two decades. The allegations on Ghosn also point to Ghosn and board director, Greg Kelly, who had been under-reporting their compensation for a couple of years now.
Ghosn is considered to be one of the most influential men in the global automotive industry, the cross-alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have all seen tremendous growth under his leadership. A mission that Ghosn started with Renault in the 1990s, for which Ghosn earned the nickname "Le Cost Killer." Ghosn was the first person to run two Fortune Global 500 simultaneously after he took on the role of CEO at both Renault and Nissan in 2005.