Renault replaces detained Ghosn with new chairman and CEO

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French carmaker Renault on Thursday appointed outgoing Michelin boss Jean-Dominique Senard as chairman and its former second in command, Thierry Bolloré, as CEO, after Carlos Ghosn, who held both posts, resigned late Wednesday while in detention in Japan where has been held since November on financial misconduct allegations. 

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Renault has appointed a new chairman and chief executive after Carlos Ghosn resigned from both roles, reports The Guardian.

The board named the outgoing Michelin boss Jean-Dominique Senard as chairman and Ghosn’s former deputy Thierry Bolloré as chief executive, confirming the requests of the French government, which owns 15% of the carmaker.

Ghosn resigned on Thursday following his arrest in Japan amid the financial scandal that has rocked the French carmaker and its alliance with Japan’s Nissan.

The appointments, which had been widely expected, may begin to resolve a Renault-Nissan leadership crisis that erupted after Ghosn’s arrest in Japan in November and swift dismissal as Nissan chairman.

Renault’s board said that Senard will have “full responsibility” for managing the alliance with Nissan and the fellow Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi. Bolloré, 55, will take responsibility for Renault’s operational activities. The board also said Senard will evaluate the carmaker’s governance as it splits the chairman and chief executive roles into two, in a departure from Ghosn’s reign.

The appointments mark a clear end to one of the auto industry’s most-feted careers, two decades after Ghosn was dispatched by former Renault CEO Louis Schweitzer to rescue newly acquired Nissan from near bankruptcy – a feat he pulled off in two years.

After 14 years as Renault CEO and a decade as chairman, Ghosn formally resigned from both roles on the eve of the board meeting, the French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said.

Ghosn’s arrest and indictment for financial misconduct has strained Renault-Nissan relations, threatening the future of the partnership he transformed into a carmaking giant.

For two months, the tensions deepened as Renault and the French government stuck by Ghosn despite the revelation he had arranged to be paid tens of millions of dollars in additional income, unknown to shareholders.

Ghosn has been charged with failing to disclose more than 80 million dollars (£60m) in additional compensation for 2010-18 that he had agreed to be paid later.

Read more of this report from The Guardian.

 

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