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Ghosn steps down as Renault chairman, CEO

New guard: Jean-Dominique Senard (left) has been appointed Renault Group chairman, while Thierry Bolloré will assume the role of CEO.

Carlos Ghosn resigns from Renault Board of Directors over financial scandal

Renault logo25 Jan 2019

RENAULT Group has announced that a meeting of its board of directors yesterday has resulted in the official resignation of former chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn in the wake of financial misconduct allegations.
 
Upon their meeting, the board decided to co-opt Jean-Dominique Senard as the company’s new director, and then elected him as chairman.
 
The board also chose to elect Thierry Bolloré as CEO, who temporarily took reigns of the company following Mr Ghosn’s arrest in Japan.
 
Upon the election of the new executives, the Renault board chose to set in place a new governance structure that includes a separation of the functions of chairman of the board and CEO, as evidenced by the separate appointments.
 
Mr Senard will be given the power to evaluate, and if necessary, change the governance of the company to ensure a smooth transition to the new corporate structure.
 
The board has given him full responsibility for managing the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance on behalf of the French car-maker, in liaison with Mr Bolloré.
 
As a result, Mr Senard will be the main point of contact for both Nissan and Mitsubishi when discussing any matters on the Alliance’s organisation and evolution, and will be the main representative in the Alliance’s management bodies and at Nissan when Renault has the right of proposal.
 
Mr Bolloré will help Renault co-ordinate the Alliance’s activities in the operational field, under the supervision of Mr Senard.
 
The resignation of Mr Ghosn comes after he was arrested in Japan in November under suspicion of financial misconduct by the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office following an internal investigation.
 
Three days after the arrest, Mr Ghosn was fired by Nissan Motor Company along with representative director Greg Kelly, who was also accused of involvement in the cover up.
 
Authorities alleged that from 2010-2014, Mr Ghosn under-reported his salary by approximately ¥5 billion ($A61.5 million), with Mr Kelly, a 30-year veteran of Nissan, acting as the “mastermind” in the deception.
 
In December Mr Ghosn and Mr Kelly were officially indicted, with Japanese newspaper Nikkei estimating that both men could face up to ten years in prison, along with a fine.
 
Following the indictment, further allegations appeared that the two men had also made financial misreportings in the 2015-2017 financial years.
 
Mr Senard has a long and storied career in the automotive industry that includes, in 2012, becoming the first CEO of the Michelin tyre company outside of the Michelin family.
 
Before being appointed interim chairman, Mr Bolloré held the position of COO for Renault, and originally joined the car-maker in 2012 as executive vice president for manufacturing and supply chain.

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