Well, that escalated quickly. Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested today in Japan on charges of misrepresenting his compensation to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Gred Kelly, another top executive at Nissan, is also accused of lowering his reported income to the TSE. This apparently went on “for many years”.
The story sent shockwaves throughout the industry, especially given that Hiroto Saikawa, Nissan’s chief executive, has called for the dismissal of both Ghosn and Kelly.
The accusations in Japan explain in large part the call to remove Carlos Ghosn, but there are also other issues with the top executive including misappropriation of company assets for personal use.
The news caused Nissan stock to drop by about 9%. In an interview from Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Saiwaka apologized to reports and company shareholders and called the accusations a “dark side of the Ghosn era”.
There is now fear that this could lead to a fracture of the Renault-Nissan alliance which is one of the largest in the world. This story is just breaking and we’re sure more developments will follow in the next few hours and days.
Born in Brazil, Carlos Ghosn was one of the most influential automotive CEOs in the industry. In 2005, he became the first person to head two Fortune Global 500 companies at the same time when he became CEO of both Nissan and Renault.