Ghosn Weirdness Intensifies

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ghosn weirdness intensifies

Happy to relegate Carlos Ghosn to the past, Renault has announced its former CEO will soon leave the company’s executive board, along with Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair. Annette Winkler, the ex-head of Daimler’s Smart brand, will be proposed as the new director at the company’s annual meeting in June, according to the automaker.

The company also decided that Ghosn is not entitled to an annual retirement salary of about 765,000 euros a year due to an internal probe that identified “questionable and concealed practices and violations of the group’s ethical principles.”

Of course, Ghosn maintains he was the victim of a corporate coup masterminded by Nissan executives. The ousted exec recently claimed he’s “getting ready to tell the truth about what’s happening” over social media.

The defamed industry hero appears to have created the Twitter page earlier this month, which brings up questions about its validity — especially since Ghosn’s $9 million bail is supposed to preclude him from using the internet. Whether or not the page is being run by the man himself, or on his behalf, Twitter saw fit to verify it as authentic and “Ghosn” told the world to expect a press conference on April 11th.

According to Reuters, his lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters the tweet did not violate those terms. Hironaka also said there have been no new requests from Tokyo prosecutors after Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper and other media outlets reported authorities were preparing a new case against Ghosn over payments the automaker made to a business partner in Oman — something Renault brought up when discussing his retirement pay.

From Reuters:

Prosecutors are in discussions with the Supreme Public Prosecutors Office and others and plan to make a decision soon on whether to prosecute Ghosn on further charges of aggravated breach of trust, the newspaper said, citing sources involved in the case.

A spokesman for the Tokyo prosecutors office said he was not aware of any new investigation when contacted by Reuters.

Ghosn’s spokesman has previously said payments of $32 million made over nine years were rewards for the Oman firm being a top Nissan dealer. Such dealer incentives were not directed by Ghosn and the funds were not used to pay any personal debt, the spokesman said.

Sources told Reuters earlier this week that Renault had alerted French prosecutors after uncovering suspect payments to a Renault-Nissan business partner in Oman while Ghosn was chief executive of the French automaker.

Ghosn stepped down as Renault’s chairman and CEO in January, but has repeatedly denied accusations of financial misconduct at Nissan, encouraging Renault to undertake its own internal investigation. Renault and Nissan both uncovered payments made under Ghosn that allegedly went toward corporate jets, a yacht, and unrelated family businesses, leading the French carmaker to alert local authorities.

Meanwhile, Ghosn is awaiting trial in Japan over charges that he failed to report $82 million in Nissan pay that was arranged to flow following his retirement. He was also indicted for temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan and steering $14.7 million in company funds to the Middle East.

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Ect Ect on Apr 03, 2019

    So, Ghosn tweets that he's going to hold a news conference to tell his side of the story and, as if by magic, Japanese prosecutors arrest him the very next day on "new" charges, which will keep him in jail past that date. Purely coincidental, of course!

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 03, 2019

    Why it reminds me witch hunt so popular these days in US. I am surprised there are no me-too and Russiangate collusion accusations against Ghosn. I am sure he is Putin's stooge - Renault owns VAZ.

  • Dukeisduke Why the hell doesn't Farley just resign? Why hasn't Bill Ford fired him? I lay all this at Farley's feet.
  • Dukeisduke I tried watching the livestream (I'm a MT+ subscriber), but after 15 minutes of jawing by the presenters, I got bored and turned it off. I may watch it this weekend, when I can fast forward through that stuff, to get to the reveal.
  • Dukeisduke Electric power steering, I assume. First-gen Chevy Cruzes can suffer from similar issues, usually traceable to a flaky battery negative cable, a $10 OEM part. Weird, huh?
  • Kwik_Shift Once 15 Minute Cities start to be rolled out, you won't be far enough away from home to worry about range anxiety.
  • Bobbysirhan I'd like to look at all of the numbers. The eager sheep don't seem too upset about the $1,800 delta over home charging, suggesting that the total cost is truly obscene. Even spending Biden bucks, I don't need $1,800 of them to buy enough gasoline to cover 15,000 miles a year. Aren't expensive EVs supposed to make up for their initial expense, planet raping resource requirements, and the child slaves in the cobalt mines by saving money on energy? Stupid is as stupid does.