Lebanon FM throws support behind outgoing Nissan chairman

Nissan to oust Carlos Ghosn after finding ‘significant acts of misconduct

During the investigation, other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered.

Brazilian-born, of Lebanese descent and a French citizen, Mr Ghosn began his career at Michelin in France, moving on to Renault.

Shortly afterwards, Nissan said in a statement that it had been investigating Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly for months after a whistleblower report. Kelly was also arrested. The feelings roused by Mr. Ghosn's behavior went "far beyond regret to strong anger", Mr. Saikawa said.

Yokohama-based Nissan Motor said it is cooperating with prosecutors in their investigation.

Nissan said that it would seek to oust Ghosn from his post as chairman at a board meeting on Thursday.

"This is an act that can not be tolerated by the company", he said. He told reporters that the investigation had identified "serious misconduct".

The manager, who declined to be identified as he was not permitted to speak to the media, said he was also anxious Ghosn's departure could hit sales as fans of the charismatic leader abandon the company and corporate customers bound by compliance rules put orders on hold due to the scandal.

Still, Sugiura said the three-way partnership is likely to end up mostly unscathed.

At a hastily organised press conference, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa expressed "despair", but also suggested that Ghosn had accrued too much power and eluded proper oversight.

"We need to really look back at what happened, take it seriously and take fundamental countermeasures", he said.

Nissan also reportedly provided luxury residences to Ghosn in Brazil and Lebanon by making subsidiaries purchase the properties for billions of yen (tens of millions of dollars). The properties had no business objective, NHK said.

French President Emmanuel Macron listens to Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of French vehicle maker Renault, left, at the Renault stand during an official visit at the Paris Motor Show, in Paris, France, Oct. 3, 2018. But experts said it is unlikely he will be able to stay on there or at Renault, where he is also CEO.

A full day that seems not to be almost enough to precisely say what this will mean for Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi and all the thousands of people working for one of the largest auto groups of the planet.

"It's the future of the alliance that seems in play, because the thing holding it together seemed to be Ghosn himself", said Daniel Larrouturou, a senior executive at investment firm Diamant Bleu Gestion.

The arrest of Nissan Motor Co's chairman Carlos Ghosn on charges he under-reported his income and misused company funds caused the company's shares to tumble and left many in Japan shocked. The news of Ghosn's troubles broke after Japanese markets had closed for the day.

Nissan shares have hit a two-year low as its chairman Carlos Ghosn remains in custody over a series of claims including a failure to declare £34.5m in earnings.

Mr Ghosn is accused of filing annual securities reports containing fake statements, which could mean up to 10 years in prison, or a fine of 10m yen, or both.

He is admired for driving a turnaround at Nissan when it was near bankruptcy and for his foresight in pushing to bring electric and autonomous cars to the masses.

For the past two decades, he has maintained an unusually high profile in a nation where foreign chief executives of major Japanese companies are still relatively rare.

The arrest is an astonishing reversal of fortune for Ghosn, often feted for his success at turning around failing companies with hard-nosed tactics that earned him the nickname "Le Cost Killer" in France.

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