Nissan's car giant board voted on Thursday evening unanimously his emblematic president, Carlos Gon, detained in Tokyo for alleged ill-treatment. "After reviewing the detailed internal investigation report, the Council voted unanimously to remove Carlos Gonz from the presidency," Nissan said in a statement.
In another document published on the TSE website, the group explains this radical decision with "confirmed serious acts", mentioning "to a minimum its long-term income in financial statements, fraudulent use of IFRS personal goals and reports for costs ".
Nissan also stressed that "the long-standing partnership with Renault remains intact," while rumors have intensified tensions between Japanese and French builders united since 1999. The meeting of seven directors lasted more than four hours at the headquarters of the group in Yokohama, a suburb of the Japanese capital . Hiroto Saikawa, Managing Director of April 2017, leads the proceedings. He was expected to take over the interim chairman of the board, but in the end he was not appointed deputy. He will be appointed later by a committee including all three external directors. Consideration will also be given to the means of "strengthening governance", whose case has revealed the shortcomings.
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Revelations in Japanese Media
A prosecutor's press conference is scheduled for the next few hours as revelations in the Japanese media reveal the abuse of the 64-year-old tycoon. Officially, the Franco-Libanese-Brazilian is accused of having cut off five times its compensation between June 2011 and June 2015, with a total of 4.9 billion yen (about 37 million euros) instead of 10 billion yen. But he is also suspected of misappropriation of corporate assets, according to the results of an internal investigation conducted by Nissan in recent months.
On Wednesday, the Tokyo court decided to extend his detention ten days to continue the investigation. And his detention could have exceeded that, according to the rules of the Japanese judiciary. On behalf of other members of a strong union of 450,000 people, Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) also plans to "quickly reject" its president. The board is scheduled for next week, according to a company spokesman.
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A warning in Renault
In Renault, caution is now in order. The Board of Directors asked Nissan to "send him all the information at his disposal as part of the internal investigations to which Mr Ghosn was the subject". Believing that he was not in a position to rule on the merits of the case, the French manufacturer has taken measures to secure the interim number two, Thierry Bolloré. The French government tried to calm the future of the diamond maker on Wednesday, which the state holds 15%. Economics Minister Bruno Le Mair so assured the Paris press that there is "solid" but "temporary" management to allow the French producer to continue its business. He will meet with his Japanese counterpart, Hiroshige Seko, on Thursday afternoon to discuss the long-term nature of the partnership and its "expansion."
If the comments in Japan are calming the surface, the local noise from anonymous statements by Nissan officials says the group wants to revise the structure of the alliance, "a prerequisite for continuing," according to them. The aim is to reconsider the cross-share shares: Renault holds 43% of Nissan, but the Japanese, which dominate their union in terms of turnover, have only 15%, which has long provoked anger at the archipelago. According to the Economic Diary Nikkei quoting Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn seeks to integrate the two groups and "it is possible that the plan will be ready in the spring," but this merger is openly rejected by Hiroto Saykwa.
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