Nissan, Renault to rework alliance, Latest World News


One of the world's best-known auto executives, Ghosn was sacked as chairman of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, and resigned as chief executive of Renault after his arrest.

Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi plan to set up a joint board meeting structure under which Renault's new chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, is likely to take the chair, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Nissan, along with partners Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, this week announced a major retooling of their alliance through the creation of a three-way board meeting to put themselves on a more equal footing.

Nissan, for its part, is planning to oust Ghosn as a board member at an extraordinary shareholders' meeting slated to be held on April 8.

Arun Bajaj, the alliance's senior VP for human resources, exited Nissan as of March 11 after a leave of absence, the Yokohama, Japanbased carmaker said in a statement yesterday.

It has seemingly relinquished this right, for now at least, in order to improve its relationship with Nissan.

Ghosn, who spent 108 days incarcerated at the Tokyo Detention House since his arrest in November, has resolutely maintained his innocence and on Monday requested to be allowed to attend Nissan's board meeting scheduled for Tuesday. He was released on a $9 million bail only last week.

Also on the shareholders' agenda is the dismissal of Greg Kelly, a director who was arrested with Ghosn and accused of working with Ghosn in the alleged misconduct. He faces charges of under-reporting his salary at Nissan by about $82 million over almost a decade - charges he has called "meritless".

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said in the past he believed that Ghosn wielded too much power, creating a lack of oversight and corporate governance.

The move gave the alliance time to reformulate the structure of its board of directors without having to undo the alliance - for now anyway. French media have also reported that prosecutors have opened a preliminary inquiry into how he financed his 2016 wedding at the Château de Versailles.

In the wake of the scandal, Renault began its own review of payments to Ghosn.

Some at Nissan had been unhappy with Ghosn's push for a deeper tie-up with Renault, which was seen as possibly including a full merger. Renault, which is smaller than Nissan, bought 43% of the Japanese giant before the 1999 rescue.

Ghosn owns more than 3 million Nissan shares, or somewhat less than 0.1 percent of total shares, according to the most recent disclosure.