Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn held for financial misconduct
Tokyo: Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, one of the world’s best-known businessmen, was reportedly under arrest in Japan in a shocking fall from grace linked to allegations of financial misconduct.
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK and other media outlets said Ghosn had been arrested after being questioned by Japanese prosecutors for various improprieties, including underreporting his income.
Nissan said it had been investigating its chairman for months and would now move to fire him.
The news sent shockwaves through the auto industry, where Ghosn is a towering figure who is credited with turning around several major manufacturers and leads an alliance of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.
“The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office arrested Nissan chairman Ghosn on suspicion of violation of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act,” NHK said.
In a statement, Nissan said it had been conducting a probe into Ghosn for several months after receiving a whistleblower report and had uncovered misconduct going back several years.
The Tokyo prosecutor’s office had no comment on the reports about Ghosn. Mitsubishi also declined comment.
Nissan said it had launched an investigation into both Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly several months ago.
“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,” the statement said.
“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.” The company said it had provided information to Japanese prosecutors and would propose to the Board of Directors that it “promptly remove Ghosn from his positions” along with Kelly.
The astonishing news first emerged Monday evening, when the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported Ghosn was being questioned by prosecutors and was likely to face arrest.