By on November 19, 2018

Carlos Ghosn, the globe-straddling executive behind the Renault-Nissan Alliance and the resurrection of Mitsubishi Motors, has reportedly been arrested in Japan following a whistleblower-prompted investigation into financial irregularities.

In a statement, Nissan said Ghosn and board director Greg Kelly allegedly violated Japanese financial laws by under-reporting compensation levels for years, all part of an apparent plot to hide Ghosn’s actual level of compensation. The automaker will move to remove Ghosn, thus ending a long and successful era of governance.

Nissan’s statement follows:

Based on a whistleblower report, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) has been conducting an internal investigation over the past several months regarding misconduct involving the company’s Representative Director and Chairman Carlos Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly.

The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.

Also, 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.

Nissan has been providing information to the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office and has been fully cooperating with their investigation. We will continue to do so.

As the misconduct uncovered through our internal investigation constitutes clear violations of the duty of care as directors, Nissan’s Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa will propose to the Nissan Board of Directors to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions as Chairman and Representative Director. Saikawa will also propose the removal of Greg Kelly from his position as Representative Director.

Nissan deeply apologizes for causing great concern to our shareholders and stakeholders. We will continue our work to identify our governance and compliance issues, and to take appropriate measures.

Nissan claimed it will update the media at 9 p.m. Monday, Tokyo time. Ghosn, 64, was reported arrested by Japanese media, though whether this has actually happened remains unclear.  According to Reuters, citing Japan’s Asahi newspaper, prosecutors have beguin searching Nissan’s corporate headquarters.

A shrewd and determined executive, Ghosn was instrumental in bringing together Renault and Nissan in 1999, serving as chairman and CEO of both automakers and taking on the chairman role at Mitsubishi after that company joined the alliance two years ago. He has since relinquished his role as Nissan CEO.

During his tenure, aggressive streamlining and platform and technology sharing propelled the alliance members to new heights, both in terms of sales and profits. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi was the world’s largest automaker in the first half of 2018, beating Volkswagen Group. In the wake of the revelations, Renault shares fell 13 percent in Paris as Nissan securities fell 11 percent in Germany, pointing to the importance of Ghosn’s grip on the two companies.

Ghosn’s Renault pay package amounted to a shareholder-approved 7.4 million euro last fiscal year ($8.46 million), with Nissan and Mitsubishi chipping in $6.52 million and $2.01 million, respectively.

[Source: CNBC] [Image: Nissan]

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94 Comments on “Renault-Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn to Be Sacked; Industry Titan Faces Arrest in Japan...”


  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Proud magna cum laude graduate of Trump University.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      did Ghosn contribute to the Clinton Slush fund?

      Truman said that any politician that got rich doing their job was a crook – so Truman called the Clintons crooks before Trump so accurately did.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        There’s a distinct difference between being an outright crook (Trump) and later leveraging your political position for financial gain. Most seem to do the latter, either by giving speeches, lobbying or get plum positions in the private sector. Then there are those gargantuan book deals. One of the notable exceptions (along with Truman) was Jimmy Carter.

      • 0 avatar
        Null Set

        The Clintons did not in fact get rich while in the WH. They came by their current money after leaving office. And how are the Clintons relevant to Ghosn’s alleged crimes? Or is everything just about them for you?

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “The Clintons did not in fact get rich while in the WH.”

          Might want to read up on some Wikileaks my friend. Just one off the top of my head, this is from 2011 when Hillary was Sec. Def: Qatar wants to meet with the Clintons for “5 minutes” to present them a $1 million dollar check for the Clinton Foundation for Bill’s birthday.

          • 0 avatar
            Null Set

            I see it’s you who did not bother to read Wikileaks. Those revelantions concerned the activities of their foundation post-WH. Educate yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “Those revelantions concerned the activities of their foundation post-WH. Educate yourself.”

            Hillary CLinton was secretary of state (I misspoke earlier) 2009-2013

            The Qatari “birthday gift” was deposited in 2011

            What am I missing here?

            http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-foundation-idUSKBN12Z2SL

            Fake news?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Only a fool would trust the Clintons, Kennedys or Trumps

      • 0 avatar
        DEVILLE88

        Why would you throw in the name of the last real president this country ever had???? JFK, you wanna talk garbage,Johnson,obama,Clintons,bush(both of the p’os). Think and do research before you talk!

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Research? What don’t you already know about the Kennedys that would make you trust them? Would you let your daughter date one?

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Jefferson was the last President of any merit.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Looking at it purely objectively, no President ever got us closer to a Nuclear War than JFK. Not Nixon, Not Reagan…nobody. Trump’s inexperience gets some awesome Twitter triades and stupid tariffs. JFK’s darned near ended the world as we know it.

          Not endorsing Trump over JFK or vice versa, I just don’t get the JFK lovefest. He was a womanizer who had no idea what to do with Cuba, almost launched a nuclear war, and did start our involvement in Vietnam.

          Honest ly he was exactly the sort that the last truly great President we had (Ike) warned us about.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Not to mention that JFK was pretty much drugged-out due to chronic back pain during his presidency

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            Art said – “I just don’t get the JFK lovefest.”

            JFK was a boomer darling and got his brains smeared all over the presidential limousine during the height of the love affair plus there was probably some national guilt mixed in there since a sitting president was assassinated at another time when the US considered itself invincible.

            JFK was also pre Nixon so he had that going for him as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Thank you Lie2Me. We have a winner.

        And yes, not sure about while in office, but certainly while in politics in Arkansas the Clinton’s had some shady get rich scheme’s (Whitewater…where they stole the retirement money from senior citizens).

        But here is the thing, Trump AND Clinton can both be POS criminals…they aren’t mutually exclusive. I know, Who knew, right?

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      This went downhill (political) way too quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Way too f**king early for the political nonsense, guys.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @FreedMike

        They’re getting warmed up for Thanksgiving./s

        I’ll be dinning this year at my sister-in-laws house where I know all ends of the spectrum will be covered from my father-in-law who would vote Democrat no mater what to my brother-in-law’s father, his uncle, and his brothers (all bachelors with nowhere better to go) who probably couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a woman regardless of her affiliation or qualifications.

        I’m a registered Libertarian so I’ll keep my dang mouth shut and eat my pie.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Yep, kabuki theater politics are never fun. I was always lucky – my in-laws and I were pretty much in sync politically, but they were complete a-holes, so politics was always the least of our issues.

          True story: one of them still had me friended on Facebook for some unknown reason (at this point, I’d rather be associated with a troupe of overweight actors who re-enact “Fifty Shades of Gray” at dinner theater). She posted something to me to the effect of “You voted, right? We have to get rid of Trump’s majority or else it’s the apocalypse.” I told her I had a complete change of mind and am now on the Trump bandwagon, and signed my message of with “MAGA!!!” She unfriended me immediately, thank God. Who says the current political climate is ALL bad?

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Dan, do you have any Gay people in your family? You seem to have everything else covered ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Hmmmmmmm there’s a few of my wife’s cousins…

            My favorite is the one who heard of our wedding announcement and said: “That’s nice. Marriage is good for you straights.”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Now gay folks get to experience the endless joys of bad marriages and messy divorces right along with the rest of us. Progress marches on!

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            No one was happier about Gay marriage then lawyers

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            This. Lawyers LIVE for contentious divorces. Mine was no exception. You’d be amazed how much more smoothly things went once my ex and I ran out of money for legal fees and started representing ourselves. What a f**king racket.

      • 0 avatar
        phila_DLJ

        Yeah, at least wait until the National Dog Show is over to start with the Trump-Hillary sniping!

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Lynch

        TTAC: just another hate-filled political blog.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Seriously, WTH? As anyone who’s read my comments knows, I’m the furthest thing from a Trump fan, but what exactly made you decide that an article about a French executive of a Japanese country with no particular influence on or record in US politics was the right place for a pithy one-liner about Trump?

  • avatar
    tallguy130

    Wow, the Japanese actually prosecute corporate crimes. Must be nice.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Who knew they took financial chicanary so serious over there in Japan. Here in the states that kind of behavior is almost a job requirement for the CEO.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      I’m not at all sure that the Japanese are serious about financial chicanery unless the proper wheels weren’t getting greased as expected/required.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Japan is just fine with State endorsed financial chicanery.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        lol I was going to say that the Japanese governments bigger problem is that the chicanery wasn’t being committed by their own citizenry.

        • 0 avatar
          Mike G

          Like a lot of things in Japan, the rules depend on who you are. He’s a foreigner so an easier target not as plugged into the corporate/government networks of influence. Possibly he fell out of political favor with someone powerful for one decision or another so they are pulling the plug on him. Some of the business establishment are probably unhappy that a gaijin wielded so much influence in a Japanese corporation and were looking for a chance to push him out.
          Not defending his chicanery, but you could throw a rock in Tokyo and hit another Japanese executive doing the same things Ghosn is accused of, who would never be prosecuted.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Might want to do a little homework. Plenty wrong with the US, but to point to Japan and say “We should be like them”…well maybe if you really liked The Sopranos.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Greed. Ghosn had built a solid legacy. Made more money than most on this planet could ever dream of. Had more than enough money to ‘live like an Emperor’ for the rest of his life and probably for the lives of a few generations of his descendants.

    Yet he allegedly resorts to this, for what is probably a pittance in comparison to his overall compensation?

    Just how much money is enough?

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      During the .com bubble, I knew people with less work experience than comic books who bragged that they wouldn’t take a job anywhere that wouldn’t position them to make thirty million dollars overnight off of stock options. They were the first people I ever heard denigrate Generation X for our cynicism. Humorous recollections aside, eight million a year is chump change to the Globalist shot callers.

      • 0 avatar
        gottacook

        “Globalist” is a code word I’d hoped would not be seen at this site.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          What do you think it’s “code” for?

          • 0 avatar
            gottacook

            In some circles it has long been a code word for the sort of thing Henry Ford used to publish in his company newspaper.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Okay, in some circles a “spook” is a ghost, in others a spy, and in “some circles” it is an ethnic slur. Heck, Trump talks a lot about “globalists,” do you really think he’s anti-Semitic and signaling to some splinter group? Same guy that moved the embassy to Jerusalem, touched the wall while wearing a yarmulke, and whose wife has a Jewish kid? C’mon man.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Pittance? Supposedly it was 90mm.

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    Bout time he was arrested for creating the Crossover Cabriolet category!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Shocking, but proof that nobody should be viewed as indispensable.

    According to CNN:
    “Together with Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF), Nissan and Renault make up the biggest global carmaking alliance, which makes one of every nine cars sold around the world. The three companies employ more than 470,000 people in nearly 200 countries.”

    The Board isn’t about to let one guy screw that up, but it’s interesting that they were investigating him for *years*.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    they should have arrested Ghosn for what he did to Nissan.

    • 0 avatar
      3800FAN

      You mean SAVE THEM!? Nissan was in the tank when he took over and he saved the company. Their quality went down but their products were set right. Before Ghosn nissan products were boring inbetweeners, trying to be a honda and toyota at once and the results were cramped, generic noisy nissans, infinitis that were badge engineered maximas, just boring generic garbage and their sales were tanking world wide. He turned the company around with new well designed product people wanted. Best example was the 2002 Altima which set new standards in the midsize market for size and horsepower and triggered a midsize sedan horsepower war that went until just recently.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “Best example was the 2002 Altima ”

        Best example of a car made in the new millennium that rotted out its floorboards, a concept forgotten by most car owners in the eary 1980s.

      • 0 avatar
        Erikstrawn

        I was a Nissan technician in the late ’90s, when Nissan was half a billion dollars in debt. Their entire business model was trying to build Maximas with Rolls Royce quality while selling them at Chevy prices. There was no Z car, no XTerra, and their only cash flow was the solid bread-and-butter first-gen Altima. They were still locked into the Keiretsu business model, with all their suppliers leeching them dry. Ghosn demolished the keiretsu and laid off half the upper staff who thought they had cushy jobs for life, and this investigation is the old guard’s final revenge. If they are successful, it would be time to sell any Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi stock.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Thanks 3800fan, was just going to ask if thornmark was old enough to remember how much Nissan and more critically Infiniti sucked in the mid 90s.

      Outside of the Maxima and 240SX, Mitsubishi made better cars (!!!). Ghosn oversaw Nissan take the reigns of the midsize HP wars, and Infiniti’s phenomenal revival. Along with the R34 and R35 GT-Rs. People on the internet need to stop with the meaningless feel good teenager one liners.

      • 0 avatar
        dividebytube

        I was a Nissan fanatic in the 1980s – and, much later, gladly bought a 1997 Altima for family duty. It’s interior quality (rattles!) was a drop down from the 1987 Stanza I inherited from my dad.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Under US accounting laws, Nissan would have been bankrupt in the late 90s with questionable survival odds. Ghosen definitely put the company on the right course. There is a reason it’s so hard to discern many Nissan products from the early 90s into the early 00s – there was no money for R&D and old platforms just limped along with no investment.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Maybe they sucked,but there was the B13 SE-R so frankly I can forgive the rest. Then came the B14 to erase all the goodwill

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Wow, shocking

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    I would give him 90 days for tax evasion, 20 years for the CVT, and life without parole for the Murano Cabriolet and the Juke.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      My biggest problem with the CVT is that there isn’t an alternative for the Nissans I might actually desire.

      No manual Maxima or Altima.

      The Juke practically looks normal in our current design climate.

    • 0 avatar

      What’s your beef with the CVT?

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Poor reliability/repairability. A 7 year old Nissan with 150k that starts showing signs of transmission trouble (and a disproportionate amount do) is ready for the junkyard.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          I had a customer with an 80K mile Versa that was looking at a CVT replacement a couple of months ago. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Nissan was selling new replacements for about $2K. Call it three grand installed by an independent shop with incidentals. Sadly, that’s probably about as economical as any ‘increased efficiency’ automatic transmission gets in the long term, with the exception of Hybrid Synergy Drive.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            The $2k replacements aren’t technically new, they are remans. But you’re right, $2800 and then you get an $800 core charge back when you bring them them your old transmission. My brother swapped the CVT in his wife’s Rogue when it crapped out at 186k (very easy highway miles). As I recall he got a quote from the dealer for the swap with labor and it was around $4k all in. I suppose we’re spoiled when we can get mad about a transmission failing at “only” 186k miles of highway use.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Or I could just get any of the other cars in the class that don’t seem to have this problem and not spend 2 grand on a car that is worth only mardinally more at that point.

            This is why I stick to manuals in this price class.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        Beyond total failure at 50,000 miles, nothing.

    • 0 avatar
      eCurmudgeon

      You left out “Publicly horse-whipped for the Infiniti Q50”

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Tax evasion? Now THAT’S Innovation that Excites.

  • avatar
    Grenade

    Nissan claimed it will update the media at 9 p.m. Monday, Tokyo time. Ghosn, 64, was reported arrested by Japanese media, though whether this has actually happened remains unclear.

    The Japanese media arrested Ghosn?

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Having owned a G35 and a G37, I always appreciated the French ride / handling balance and accurate , communicative steering. I hope Infiniti finds its way back, as I’m partial to the mark. Both were dead nuts reliable. Without him at the helm this seems less likely.

    • 0 avatar

      Ghosn wasn’t in charge of Infiniti. And the brand’s interesting offerings are going away, replaced by FWD crossover items with Pathfinder roots, or Mercedes inline-fours.

      The Q50 is alright, but nothing special. That’s pretty much the party line for their entire offering presently. I don’t see them returning to their brief moments of glory from the early-mid 00s.

      • 0 avatar
        conundrum

        Considering that Infinitis are not sold in Japan as Infinitis but as Nissans, saying Ghosn wasn’t in charge of Infiniti is a distinction without a meaning.

        It’s like saying Hackett isn’t in charge of Lincoln because they have some flunky as “President” of the division.

        https://www.theofficialboard.com/org-chart/infiniti

        So the company is incorporated in Hong Kong, a Johan de Nysschen Memorial move of a few years ago. And has a prez. Whoopee.

        Note that the org chart says Infiniti is owned by Nissan. Up till today, who ran Renault Nissan? Ghosn.

        Let’s not split non-existent hairs.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    For years we were told that we have to venerate the CEO no matter what they did. If their pay went up to 200-300 times the average worker, engaged in dubious schemes like greenmail and leveraged buyouts and offshored jobs we were told to deal with it because that’s capitalism and if you oppose them you’re a stark raving mad socialist.
    About time this myth goes by the wayside.

  • avatar

    TTAC Award winners 2018

    Most corrupt: Ghosn
    Most incompetent: Hackett

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    I admire Goshn’s capabilities in bringing together and managing such disparate, yet proudly nationalistic cultures.
    Specially in such a cutthroat business as the automotive.

    Yet…..Even as he had a fortune and stature far, far beyond what us mere mortals can even dream of, he blew it. Why?

  • avatar

    Doesn’t it sound like Ford today? Sorry to mention Ford’s name in vain but analogy is priceless.

  • avatar
    gtem

    True story: my brother’s old middleschool/highschool/college friend is married to Ghosn’s older daughter. His family lived up the road from us, I used to mountain bike with him and my bro.

  • avatar

    Within the past year or so, Mark Fields was running Ford, Sergio Marchionne was in charge of Fiat, Chrysler and Ferrari, and Ghosn was running the biggest automotive conglomerate in the world.

    How the mighty have fallen.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    Poor people might hoard newspapers or cats. We pity them.

    The rich, with the same exact mental illness, hoard money. No amount is enough to soothe them, and they’ll do anything to get more, in hopes that the pain and longing will go away.

    Ghosn had more money than he could ever use. All of his basic needs were met, a thousand times over. He didn’t steal (avoid taxes) because he’s evil; he did it because letting go of money feels like a direct danger to him. It’s a sickness, and I hope he gets the treatment he needs while in prison.

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