Report: Nissan poised to propose Ghosn replacement on board

A screen in Tokyo shows a news program featuring Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn. (AFP pic)

TOKYO: The board of Japanese car giant Nissan is poised to suggest a replacement for jailed former chairman Carlos Ghosn at a meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday, according to local media.

New Renault boss Jean-Dominique Senard is expected to replace Ghosn on the board but an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in April will be needed to sign off on the appointment.

At this gathering in April, shareholders also will be asked to remove Ghosn and his right-hand man Greg Kelly from the board as they fight allegations of financial misconduct.

Both were sacked from the board after their arrest on Nov 19 but a special shareholders’ meeting is required to remove them officially.

Ghosn’s arrest and subsequent indictment on three charges exposed rifts between Nissan and French carmaker Renault which, together with Mitsubishi Motors, make up the world’s top-selling auto manufacturing group.

The Japanese firms jettisoned Ghosn almost immediately but Renault waited much longer and the tycoon eventually resigned as chairman and CEO.

Current Nissan boss Hiroto Saikawa has described Senard’s appointment as a “new chapter” in relations between the two firms – an unlikely alliance that Ghosn created and held together.

In an interview with AFP last week, Ghosn said Nissan’s probe into his alleged misconduct was a “trap”, “plot” and a “story of betrayal”.

It was a result of “opposition and anxiety on the project of bringing the companies together,” said Ghosn, amid rumours his arrest was a “coup” designed to prevent a fully-fledged merger between Nissan and Renault.

“The scenario was to create a holding company that would control the three operational entities and would hold all the shares while preserving the autonomy of each group,” Ghosn told AFP.