NISSAN is expected to fire its chairman and representative director Carlos Ghosn, after he was arrested over claims of financial misconduct.
The Japanese car maker said an internal investigation found him to have under-reported his earnings to the Tokyo Stock Exchange; an unconfirmed Japanese media report suggested by as much as ¥5bn (£34) over five years, from 2011.
The firm said it has also uncovered evidence of other “significant acts of misconduct” by Ghosn, including “the personal use of company assets”.
The investigation revealed Nissan’s representative director Greg Kelly had a “deep involvement” in Ghosn’s wrongdoing. As a result, the Nissan chief executive officer Hiroto Saikawa will propose both Ghosn and Kelly should be removed from their roles at the company. Kelly was also arrested by the authorities in Japan.
During the conference, Sakawa said he was unable to give full details of the acts of misconduct, but said: “It’s very difficult to express it in words. Beyond being sorry, I feel big disappointment and frustration and despair. I feel despair, indignation and resentment. As the details are disclosed, I believe people will feel the same way that I feel today.”
Ghosn is a prominent figure in the automotive industry, having worked in high-ranking positions at Renault and Nissan. Ghosn also had a significant role in the formation of the Renault-Nissan Alliance group, which last year became the world’s largest car-making consortium, having sold 10.61m vehicles.
Ghosn is also the chairman of Alliance, which now includes Mitsubishi and encompasses ten brands in one of the world’s three largest car groups.
Saikawa said: “The partnership among the three entities will not be affected by this event.”
He added: “We will work closely with Alliance partners to minimise the impact on Alliance efforts.”
Mr Saikawa said Nissan would now try to “stabilise the situation, and normalise day-to-day operations” for staff and business partners.
Since the Ghosn revelation was announced, prices of Renault stocks have fallen by 10% at time of writing. Shares in the French car maker are now worth 57.83 Euros (£51.49) – down 6.67 Euros (£5.94) from their value when trading opened this morning.