Nissan Motor Co’s board voted unanimously to oust Chairman Carlos Ghosn on Thursday after the shock arrest of the industry heavyweight, ushering in a period of uncertainty for its 19-year alliance with Renault, reports Reuters.
The Japanese firm said its board also voted to remove Greg Kelly - who like Ghosn has been arrested after allegations of financial misconduct - from his post as representative director.
The moves, which leaves the chairman position vacant, came despite Renault urging Nissan’s board before its meeting to delay removing Ghosn, sources close to the matter told Reuters.
The Franco-Japanese alliance, enlarged in 2016 to include Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors, has been rattled to its core by the arrest of the 64-year-old Ghosn in Japan on Monday.
Ghosn had shaped the alliance and was pushing for a deeper tie-up, including potentially a full Renault-Nissan merger at the French government’s urging, despite strong reservations at the Japanese firm.
Japanese prosecutors said Ghosn and Kelly conspired to understate Ghosn’s compensation at Nissan over five years from 2010, saying it was about half the actual 10 billion yen ($88 million).
Shin Kukimoto, deputy public prosecutor at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, said on Thursday that court approval was received a day earlier to detain Ghosn for 10 days but he could not comment on whether he had admitted to the allegations.