Renault keeps Ghosn at helm as probe finds no pay wrongdoing

14, Dec. 2018

NEW YORK, Kyodo - Renault SA said Thursday that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn will retain his positions with the firm as no evidence of wrongdoing was found in an internal probe undertaken after he was indicted in Japan for alleged financial crimes.

The French automaker said following a board meeting that the "preliminary conclusion" of its audit is that Ghosn's compensation and its approval process for 2015-2018 were "in compliance with applicable law" as well as industry recommendations.

"Based on these elements, the board of directors decided to maintain the current governance measures" set up on Nov. 20, when the board named its chief operating officer as acting CEO without ousting Ghosn, it said in a statement.

The company said its lawyers provided the board with a report on the presentation made to them by Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co.'s lawyers concerning their probe on Ghosn's alleged financial misconduct.

It also said the board asked its lawyers to "continue their review and assessment of the information provided, in liaison with Nissan's lawyers, and promptly provide the board with a new update on the situation."

"The board of directors noted that, at this stage, it does not have information concerning Carlos Ghosn's defense," the statement added.

Ghosn was indicted in Japan this week along with his close aide Greg Kelly on a charge of violating the financial instruments law by understating his remuneration in the company's reports to financial authorities during the five years through March 2015. They have denied the allegation.

Nissan removed Ghosn as chairman and Kelly as representative director following their arrest last month. Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the other partner in the three-way alliance with Renault, also dismissed him as chairman. (Kyodo)