Renault keeps Ghosn as CEO despite arrest in Japan

Renault keeps Ghosn as CEO despite arrest in Japan

"Groupe Renault ensures on a daily basis the efficiency of its partnerships within the framework of the Alliance and is particularly focused on the consolidation of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance", it added.

Ghosn is being held in a detention center in northern Tokyo in conditions far removed from his abundant lifestyle.

Nissan's board will meet on Thursday (Nov 22) to make a formal decision on Mr Ghosn's future.

Nissan released a statement Monday that said an internal investigation revealed that Ghosn, along American board member Greg Kelly, under-reported Ghosn's income-reportedly up to $44 million-with the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The crisis appeared to be going from bad to worse for Nissan, as the Asahi Shimbun reported that prosecutors believe the firm also had a case to answer.

After an emergency meeting Tuesday, Renault announced that independent director Phillippe Lagayette would take over as interim chairman for the automaker and Chief Operating Officer Thierry Bollore will take over as interim CEO.

The biggest questions surround Ghosn's alleged misuse of company money to purchase millions of dollars in properties around the globe with seemingly no ties to official business.

Nissan, by contrast, said after he was detained on Monday (Nov 19) that it intends to dismiss Mr Ghosn, 64, as chairman - acting with a haste that has fuelled open speculation that he was the victim of a coup by Mr Saikawa, who serves as Nissan's chief executive officer, and others opposed to deeper integration between the two companies.

Bail cannot be granted until prosecutors decide whether to proceed with an indictment, a process that could take weeks, and Mr Ghosn will not necessarily be joined by an attorney when he is questioned during that time.

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"This leadership guarantees the correct functioning of the Renault company", French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters on Wednesday.

Indeed, he is for now still the chair of Nissan and Mitsubishi, though he will likely be ousted very soon.

Ghosn was once the darling of corporate and popular Japan - even having a manga comic inspired by him.

He had a reputation as a workaholic and won the nickname "Le Cost Cutter" in France for his slash-and-burn approach to corporate restructuring.

"He trampled on Japanese cultural norms with his flamboyant glory-hogging ways, and his massive compensation incited jealousies and invited retaliation", he said.

The merger would have rendered the Renault-Nissan alliance "irreversible".

Renault owns a 43 per cent voting stake in Nissan, which owns just 15 per cent of Renault - without voting rights.

Nissan has become the alliance's key player, however, posting sales of ¥12 trillion ($106 billion) previous year compared with Renault's €59 billion ($67 billion).

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