All-powerful boss Carlos Ghosn arrested in Japan



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Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and one of the world's top industry bosses, was arrested in Tokyo, according to media reports, accused of malpractice by the courts after an internal investigation by Nissan that wants to get him out of his job as soon as possible . .

The news came late Monday afternoon in Tokyo: Japanese media reported one by one that Carlos Ghosn, who also heads the boards of Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, was listening to the Tokyo Prosecutor's Office, then arrested, suspected to hide the revenue of the tax authorities.

Shortly thereafter, Nissan, in a statement, gave condemnatory details to the 64-year-old Franco-Brazilian who built a car empire in just two decades, accumulating functions like no other business leader of that size. had done this before him.

Carlos Ghosn "for many years declares revenues below real value," Nissan said, according to the results of a survey conducted on the basis of a whistleblower's report.

"In addition, many other illicit practices have been discovered, such as the use of corporate property for personal purposes," the group adds, which will propose to the board that "dismiss their position quickly." .

Another Nissan official, Greg Kelly, is also guilty, Nissan said.

The information was transmitted to the Tokyo Prosecutor's Office, which did not confirm Ghosn's arrest at this stage.

According to NHK's public television channel, Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama, near Tokyo, was invaded in the evening. A press conference was scheduled around 13:00 GMT in the presence of CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

– "Cost killer" –

Carlos Ghosn arrived in Tokyo in the spring of 1999 to straighten out Nissan, joining the French Renault. He was appointed CEO two years later.

Nicknamed a "cost killer," he transformed a bustling group into a very profitable company with annual revenues of almost € 100 billion, which earned him some reverence in the world. archipelago.

He passed the baton in April 2017 to his heir Hiroto Saikawa, remaining ahead of the board of directors, to focus more on the alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors that he brought to the top of the rankings. global automotive industry.

As CEO of Nissan, he played for the period from April 2016 to March 2017 almost 1.1 billion yen (8.8 million euros over time). He also earns more than 7 million euros a year as CEO of Renault, which he manages since 2009 (he was the CEO since 2005), revenues that have often fallen.

Late in the morning, French President Emmanuel Macron said the French state would be "extremely vigilant for the stability" of Renault and the alliance with Nissan.

Carlos Ghosn also chairs the Mitsubishi Motors board, which he saved at the end of 2016, taking, via Nissan, a 34% stake in the group, then entangled in a data forgery scandal.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi partnership is now a complex balance building, made up of separate companies linked by non-majority ownership.

Renault owns 43% of Nissan, which owns 15% of the diamond group, while Nissan owns 34% of its compatriot Mitsubishi Motors. Recent merger rumors had recently leaked.

The accusations against Carlos Ghosn, who forged this alliance alone, hit a blow to the French-Japanese trio claiming the title of the world's largest auto group with 10.6 million cars sold last year, beating its rivals Toyota. or Volkswagen.

"If he gets arrested, he will shake the alliance of which he is the cornerstone," Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW, told reporters.

On the Paris Stock Exchange, the Renault title fell more than 10% in session. The place of Tokyo was closed when the first information appeared.

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