Renault-Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn Arrested Over Alleged Financial Misconduct

NOV 20 2018 BY MARK KANE 64

Carlos Ghosn was arrested in Japan. Nissan prepares to sack him

On Monday, one of the most powerful men in the automotive industry – Carlos Ghosn – who leads the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, was arrested in Tokyo. Ghosn was also one of the few CEOs who 10 years ago who stood behind electric car investments, introducing best-selling models like the Nissan LEAF and Renault ZOE (in Europe).

According to the first reports, the reasons behind the arrest are:

  • over many years both Ghosn (former Nissan CEO, and currently company’s Representative Director and Chairman) and Representative Director Greg Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.
  • in regards to Ghosn, numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets, and Kelly’s deep involvement has also been confirmed.

In general, it seems that Ghosn is accused of underreporting income to pay less taxes and personal use of company assets.

Current Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa announced that he will propose to the Nissan Board of Directors to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions.

Stocks of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi are down. The question is whether Carlos Ghosn really is guilty and whether or not the next boss of Renault and The Alliance will maintain the current strategy (to keep special partnerships between the companies, invest in electric and autonomous cars, etc.)

Nissan press release:

Regarding serious misconduct by Nissan Chairman and one representative director

YOKOHAMA, Japan – Based on a whistleblower report, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) has been conducting an internal investigation over the past several months regarding misconduct involving the company’s Representative Director and Chairman Carlos Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly.

The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.

Also, in regards to Ghosn, numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets, and Kelly’s deep involvement has also been confirmed.

Nissan has been providing information to the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office and has been fully cooperating with their investigation. We will continue to do so.

As the misconduct uncovered through our internal investigation constitutes clear violations of the duty of care as directors, Nissan’s Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa will propose to the Nissan Board of Directors to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions as Chairman and Representative Director. Saikawa will also propose the removal of Greg Kelly from his position as Representative Director.

Nissan deeply apologizes for causing great concern to our shareholders and stakeholders. We will continue our work to identify our governance and compliance issues, and to take appropriate measures.

Renault press release:

Press release from Renault’s lead independent Director and committee chairs

Boulogne-Billancourt, November 19, 2018 – Philippe Lagayette, as lead independent director of Renault, in liaison with Board Committee Chairs Marie-Annick Darmaillac and Patrick Thomas, have acknowledged the contents of Nissan’s press release of today.

Pending provision of precise information from Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault, the above directors wish to express their dedication to the defense of Renault’s interest in the Alliance. The Board of Directors of Renault will be convened very shortly.


Source: Reuters,

Categories: Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault

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64 Comments on "Renault-Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn Arrested Over Alleged Financial Misconduct"

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Tragic. Nissan might not be around if not for him. I most certainly wouldn’t be using an electric car if the Leaf (his baby) hadn’t come into production. And for once I have to agree with Bob Lutz on something, that a successful CEO can become so full of themselves that they feel they are above the rules for mere mortals. I wonder about the “collateral” damage that will result from this. We have to wait and see.

Bob Lutz is full of himself.

Carlos, not so much.

Maybe he was full of himself, or maybe Nissan management staged a coup. I don’t think it was a coincidence that Ghosn was moving to more fully integrate the alliance. Tokyo may have wanted the opposite. There were reports for the past few months that Nissan managers felt that Nissan was the better company, compared to Renault.
The charges are for things commonly done at that level, and were initiated from within Nissan itself. You would think they would be grateful to Ghosn, but people rarely are, especially after a few years, when memories of impending insolvency have receded.

Well he’s a very clever and remarkably honest man, and they deserve to lose him accordingly. Something doesn’t smell right.

I predict Nissan ~ Renault will soon will be in play because of Nissan’s antics.

He’s remarkably honest? Really? How would you know?

He has 40 years of reputation that says so.

There is way more to this story.

More will be revealed.

An interesting take on the matter from Autoline:

In short: it’s a conspiracy from Nissan.

If it was really some conspiracy, wouldn’t Ghosn have released a statement professing his innocence by now, and striking down the “outrageous” claims like someone else we all know would have?

First you have to spring Goshen out of the can in Japan. Then get him to come Stateside, after of course scheduling Carlos for a pow-wow peace pipe session on the Joe Rogan Podcast.

The Yakuza are in charge of Goshen now, at least until he comes clean. The Yamaguchi-gumi are going to need to cut a deal to get him legitimized, and out on his own recognizance.

Then he will spill the beans on the “conspiracy from Nissan”.🤑

William said:
“First you have to spring Goshen out of the can in Japan.”

I hope his jail cell has thermal management, unlike his batteries. 😉

How many other CEOs are doing the same thing anyways??

If they are doing the same thing and are caught they should also face the music. What is your point?

He doesn’t have one.

There are a number of legal ambiguities in these situations. Just figuring out Ghosn’s legal place of residence is non trivial. He may have brazenly broken the law, but more likely his tax advisors went right up to the edge, as is usually done. Normally nothing would happen, but people within Nissan itself made the charges. The speed at which they moved to remove him from the board is rather suspect.

Is it even confirmed he’s off their Board?

He’s still CEO of Renault and that isss a big problem for them regardless.

Regardless, I have a hard time seeing how Saikawa survives this as CEO. Even if he can finish off Ghosn, there is no way Renault will trust him moving forward. According to Bloomberg not even the Nissan board is fully convinced.

Saikawa is an idiot.

He will regret this 100%!

These are trumped up charges.
It’s a Corporate war.
Ghosn doesn’t fill out his own tax returns, he has professionals do that.
He’s directed about what’s legal by Nissan legal team.

Agreed !

He is currently detained, so kinda hard to make a statement, plus it is likely that he needs to evaluate the charges with his lawyers and define a strategy. Ghosn is very deliberate, so let’s see how this goes.

I don’t often agree with Autoline, but this smelled fishy when I heard the news yesterday.

With Ghosn in charge of Nissan and Mitsubishi, Japan market had plenty of reasons to want him gone. Nail him for use of a company car, perfect.

Conspiracy theories aside, this is terrible news for the EV world. He was the only auto CEO standing up and saying electric is the future 10 years ago. LEAF may not of met his high sales expectations, but it was the first good, affordable BEV, battery limitations aside.

He supposedly made false declarations to a market exchange about his earnings. What part of this is ‘nailing him for the use of a company car’?

Key word is “supposedly”. Compensation for a guy like Ghosn is not a simple number. There are stocks, options, contractual clauses, expenses, expatriate benefits, exchange rates, estimated value of benefits, foreign tax liability, and so on. Good faith, or “goodish” faith calculations can differ, by a lot.

…and there are guidelines as to how they should be declared and how those numbers should be arrived at. If he’s broken those regulations, even unintentionally, then he’s not fit to be CEO of anything. Top level corporate governance isn’t just flinging darts at a board and saying ‘close enough’.

Breaking regulations makes you vulnerable of course. But what is reported is just typical stretch of regulations like using company houses that the company bought itself for the purpose. So the company now reported their own violations, stroke the plea deal with prosecution, and got Ghosn oWneD.

It is power struggle going on for months or even years.
Nissan started to sell more cars than Renault and wants independence, Renault people are trying to push complete takeover and encountering resistance.

Dude we are talking about Japan. You know, the home of Takata, where people have died all over the world, safety information was falsified, and no executive has spent a minute in jail. Tepco, with four nuclear plants blowing up, same thing, Mitsubishi, where accounting irregularities were rampant, and product data was faked, same thing. Japanese executives never go to jail.
To be fair to Japan, few executives *anywhere* go to jail for fuzzy math.
Ironically, I understand why Nissan doesn’t want a merger: as a car company they really are better than Renault. But throwing Ghosn under the bus is hardly the way to achieve that. Nissan would be a has-been company, if not defunct altogether, without Renault’s money and Ghosn’s leadership. They would also probably be pursuing fool cells instead of leading all other Japanese companies with EVs.

Guidelines are never clear when so many variables are in play. Ghosn is a pretty unique individual from an accounting perspective. How many people have been CEO of two public companies in two different countries at the same time?
Also, top level governance is filled with these things. Was Jobs not fit to run Apple in 2001? He got $20 million in options that were not accounted for correctly. It would have been sheer idiocy, and the death of Apple, to fire him at that time. Not a single sane shareholder would have wanted that.

Found the fool who thinks people at this level fill out their own tax returns.

His Electric strategy was too successful.

He did sound a little xenophobic.

Oh look, it’s Bob Lutz! “He’s 64 anyway.” “No CEO is immune to CEO disease.”
This sounds like a pitch for his Dearborn, MI retirement home. I wonder if they will give him the Iacocca Suite.
Throwing some shade on electrification goals, huh? I like the chroma-keyed backdrop they put you in front of, you can almost imagine the wind tousling through the leaves and the recorded crackle of an artificial fireplace in the interview lobby of your retirement home.
Was that a medication reminder beeper that went off during the interview? Gosh, that was loud.
I wish there was a market for a comic book about you, Bob Lutz, because I’d enjoy making it.

Yeah he is a total idiot.

Carlos is not stupid, all this BS will come out in the wash as bright RED.

I have to agree with Paul. Bob Lutz’s comments are interesting and insightful for a change.

If the alliance plays its cards correctly this could actually be a good thing. It is an opportunity to bring in new leadership and there is a decent chance that the new management will use this as an opportunity to pivot more towards EVs. Let’s face it, there probably aren’t too many companies that wish they had done even less to develop EVs and the other new technologies that are coming out of start-ups and silicon valley type companies.

The Yakuza are all in on hydrogen.
The electric sales of Nissan were a direct threat to hydrogen, natural gas and Toyota.

Bottom Line …..Musk is the only Honest CEO in Existence . The Rest are all on the Take and Most haven’t Been Caught Yet…

Musk just paid a $20 million fine to the SEC a few months ago for stock manipulation.
Pick a better example.

No, he paid $20M to put the matter to rest. He wanted to go to court and clear his name, and I am sure he would have won. But it would have taken months, dragging Tesla down even more.

No, he would not have won. The tweet was a stupid act on his part and he paid the price.

“Am considering” – He would have won.
A we later learned the Funding Was Secured, by Saudi Arabia and VW.

It Was A Harassment Charge ! Musk Paid it to Make The IDIOTS Go Away Because He Is Too Busy To Haggle , Has More Important & More Profitable Things To Take Care Of , Musk Made $$$ZER0 $$$ Money From Whatever He was Accused Of That They Could NEVER Prove Any Way ! ! In fact He Bought Another $30m$$ Worth Of Stock At TOP DOLLAR With His Own Monies ..GHOSN On the Other Hand , Came Out $89 M $$$ Dollars Richer..

They “Could NEVER Prove Any Way ” something that was self-evident? Delusional.

“Am Considering” means there was NOTHING to prove.

amt said:
“Musk Paid it to Make The IDIOTS Go Away. . .”

Is there anyone we can pay to make YOU go away? If not, is there anyone we can pay to at least disable the CAPS key on your keyboard?

Yea, If the price is Right ., I will more than gladly go away !…… lmao ….. 🙂

I’ll set up a GoFundMe account.

I’ll Take all the help I can Get ! 🙂 .. All I Need is $1 to $2 from About 2 million Sympathizers & it shall serve Me Well ! l o l … 🙂 …..Thank you for your support ! 🙂 .. Merry Xmas !

The corrupt SEC looking for jobs in the financial industry?
That SEC?

I don’t understand he reported his compensation was less than it actually was to the Tokyo Stock Exchange. I’m guessing he just doesn’t call them and tell them. That there’s an actual report that’s written and sent. Which the board of directors would sign off on since the board of directors actually vote on how much he’s paid. Also why would he lie about it. I would think lying about how much you made would be an issue if he lied when he filed his takes.

Yes, that’s the Joke.
Nissan legal and tax professionals filled out these forms.
Does anyone believe Ghosn filled them out himself?

He deserves a fair trial — not a media trial. And, if he’s guilty as charged, he deserves a proper slap on the wrist, meaning spending time behind bars.

Unfortunately this isn’t a shock to me at all. My impression of how corporations work is they reward people who are willing to stretch the rules, lie, cheat and swindle — as long as they are sharing the profits…

Crooks, basically, are the kind of people who get to the top of the corporate ladder. Goshn might still be innocent of course, but why should he be any different?

So… He is a BEV beleiving… Dirty rotten filthy lying cheat??

Innocent until proven otherwise!

Yes! With All His Money He Gets a Team of Top Notch Crooked Lawyers & Gets 0ff Scott Free !

That is the way it is suppose to work folks.

Thanks for giving us Exxon’s take.


Perhaps he was arrested because he kill Fluence ZE.

Now that was funny !

Japanese are highly nationalistic people and they don’t like a foreigner who runs 2 of their companies.
Hence a cunning plot and got Mr. Carlos Ghosn arrested.

Even if he has done some misrepresentation, there should be a case, a fine / penalty and then he should be allowed to run the company.

So who is going to run Renault if he is in jail. I hope the French government follows this up and get him released and reinstated to run the company.

Without Mr. Ghosn, Nissan would have gone under the earth.

Just for info: GM & Ford sell only 10,000 vehicles/year in Japan whereas Toyota sells that many vehicles in USA in just 1 day. This is not a fair trade. Time for President Trump to levy heavy duties on Japanese vehicles.


Yes indeed!

He’ll Make another Mess Like He’s Doing Now with China ….” 🙁

Does this mean Nissan will kill the Leaf? Most Nissan dealerships want the Leaf to go away and only sell gas guzzlers.

Great Reason To Boycott Nissan Now.

The Majority Of These Company Heads are Self Serving Deviants that Have Gone to Great Lengths and Have Stopped at Nothing* to get to the Top . For these Individuals Too Much Money is Never Enough…….. ….Breaking News ! ! …Nobody Lives Forever……… 🙁 ..