Home Business Carlos Ghosn Ousted From Nissan Board – The Wall Street Journal

Carlos Ghosn Ousted From Nissan Board – The Wall Street Journal

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Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaving his lawyer’s office in Tokyo in March.


Photo:

kazuhiro nogi/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

By

TOKYO—

Nissan Motor
Co.


NSANY -0.24%

shareholders voted to remove former Chairman Carlos Ghosn from the board at a three-hour extraordinary shareholders’ meeting, severing his final link to the company.

Shareholders also voted Monday to replace Mr. Ghosn with new

Renault
SA


RNO -0.50%

Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard. In addition, they voted to remove director Greg Kelly, who is accused by Nissan and Tokyo prosecutors of conspiring with Mr. Ghosn to inaccurately disclose Mr. Ghosn’s compensation. Mr. Kelly has said he is innocent.

New Suspicions

How Nissan money ended up with Carlos Ghosn, according to prosecutors and Nissan’s internal investigation. Mr. Ghosn’s representatives say neither Mr. Ghosn nor his family benefited from Nissan payments. 

Nissan

Motor

A Nissan

subsidiary

Nissan

Middle

East

$15

million

from

2015 to

2018

$5

million

Company

controlled

by Carlos

Ghosn

Suhail

Bahwan

Automobiles

Nissan distributor in Oman

and other countries

Sources: Japanese prosecutors; Nissan investigation

Mr. Ghosn, who has denied wrongdoing, was arrested for a fourth time Thursday, on suspicion that he diverted a portion of Nissan payments to a distributor in Oman for his personal use. The arrest ended a brief period in which he was out on bail of nearly $9 million.

Previously, Mr. Ghosn was charged with misstating deferred compensation on Nissan’s annual financial statements submitted to regulators and funneling Nissan money to the business of a Saudi friend who helped him with a personal financial problem.

Mr. Ghosn has said he had hypothetical discussions about future compensation but the amount wasn’t fixed and so didn’t have to be reported. He has said Nissan paid the Saudi company for “critical services that substantially benefited Nissan.”

Much of the meeting was devoted to questions from angry shareholders, with many demanding Nissan executives step down for failing to find alleged wrongdoing by Mr. Ghosn.

In response to a shareholder who accused Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa of failing to take responsibility for any of the alleged wrongdoing, Mr. Saikawa said: “I never said we didn’t have responsibility. The problem built up over 20 years, and we cannot correct it overnight.”

Write to Sean McLain at sean.mclain@wsj.com

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