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Nissan’s Ghosn set to remain as Renault CEO despite widening probe



Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault, speaks during the French carmaker Renault's 2017 annual results presentation at their headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris, France, February 16, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault, speaks during the French
carmaker Renault’s 2017 annual results presentation in


  • Carlos Ghosn, arrested Monday, is set to remain head of
    French car giant Renault.
  • Thierry Bolloré is set to take interim charge at the
    car maker as deputy CEO. 
  • The probe into Ghosn’s alleged wrongdoing has extended
    to bonus abuses.
  • Japanese prosecutors are considering widening their
    investigation into Nissan’s alleged wrongdoing. 

Carlos Ghosn, the recently arrested head of major car brands
Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors, and Renault looks set to stay on as
CEO and Chairman of the French giant.

At a board meeting Tuesday, executives at the French automaker
stated that Ghosn would remain in place despite being “temporarily
 Renault announced that Thierry Bolloré,
who already handles many day-to-day tasks, would become Deputy
CEO with the same powers held by the Brazil-born Ghosn. Renault’s
stock, 15% of which is owned by the French government, traded up
2.6% as of 8.45 a.m. in Paris (2.45 a.m. EST). 

Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo Monday. Prosecutors in
allege that
the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance chairman and CEO earned a
salary of about 10 billion yen, or $88.7 million, from 2011 to
2015, but reported only half of that. Ghosn could face up to 10
years in prison and a fine of up to 10 million yen if found to
have committed any wrongdoing.

The executive is also accused of failing to report cash
bonuses totaling about 4 billion yen ($35.6 million), according
to Asahi Shimbun. Japanese prosecutors are also looking into the
possibility of investigating Nissan over its failures to uncover
the underreporting
over the period. 

Nissan has also alleged Ghosn misused company funds,
reportedly through purchasing houses in global cities such as Rio
de Janeiro and Paris. Ghosn is a titan of the auto world known as
“Le Cost Killer” in France for taking a strong approach to
turning around struggling businesses. 

Renault and Nissan have had a strategic partnership since
1999 that later included Mitsubishi, with Ghosn, 64, acting as
chairman of all three companies while also serving as CEO at
Renault. It is a car-making powerhouse: The alliance sold more
than 10.6 million cars in 2017, which would be the most of any
single automaker in the world.

Ghosn had been planning a merger
between Renault and Nissan, something the Japanese
company’s board was
set against
, according to the Financial Times. 

Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko called into question the
alliance’s future without Ghosn at the helm Tuesday. “I don’t
think there is anyone else on Earth like Ghosn who could run
Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi,” Masuko told
reporters in Tokyo. Renault owns a 43.4% stake in Nissan, while
Nissan owns 15% of the French company. Nissan also owns a 34%
controlling stake in Japanese rival

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