TOKYO (Reuters) – Nissan dismissed its president Carlos Ghosn on Thursday after nearly two decades of being in the Japanese company because of serious allegations of misappropriation, including false income reports and misuse of company assets.
During a meeting that lasted for hours, the board of directors voted unanimously to dismiss Ghosn and his deputy director, Nissan Motor Co., in a statement.
Days earlier, his ally Renault voted to retain him as chief executive officer, but appointed his chief operating officer, Thierry Bollore, as acting chief.
Greg Kelly, who was arrested on suspicion of collaborating in the crime, will also be fired as a representative director, Nissan said. The replacements will be decided later, he added.
It is suspected that Ghosn did not report $ 44.6 million in revenue from 2011 to 2015, according to Tokyo prosecutors.
The board of directors is composed of nine members, Ghosn and Kelly among them. The other seven voted in the meeting, including two members of Nissan and two of Renault.
For now, Ghosn and Kelly will remain on the board, as this decision belongs to the shareholders. No date for this meeting was provided.
Ghosn, 64, is also president of Mitsubishi Motors, a small Japanese automaker that will partner with the Renault-Nissan alliance. The company said it would schedule a council meeting next week.
Since being arrested Monday, Ghosn and Kelly have been in a detention center in Tokyo.
Under Japanese law, suspects could be detained for 20 days for possible prosecution without an official charge. Additional charges may be incurred, resulting in longer term detention. So far, none have been charged.
If convicted, the maximum penalty for financial fraud and violation of trade laws is 10 years in prison, a fine of 10 million yen ($ 89,000) or both.
A French-born Brazilian citizen, Ghosn became a sort of corporate superstar in Japan, leading the resurgence of Nissan after being close to bankruptcy when Renault sent him to help in 1999.
Kelly, 62, joined Nissan in the United States in 1988. She became a member of the board of directors in 2012. Her profile is in human resource management and alliances.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter as https://twitter.com/yurikageyama and on Instagram as https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en