Mitsubishi removes Ghosn as chairman

27 November 2018

Mitsubishi removes Ghosn as chairman

27 November 2018

Mitsubishi Motors has followed its top shareholder Nissan in removing Carlos Ghosn as its chairman, following his arrest in Japan for alleged financial misconduct.

CEO Osamu Masuko will become temporary chairman until a shareholders’ meeting is held, the Japanese automaker said in a statement.

The company, in its release, said: ‘The Board of Directors today resolved to discharge Carlos Ghosn as Representative Director and Chairman of the Board at MMC. This is for the reason that as Mr Ghosn took the position as Representative Director and Chairman of the Board based on the Strategic Alliance Agreement between MMC and Nissan, he has lost the confidence of Nissan. It is considered difficult for Mr Ghosn to continue conducting his activities as the Representative Director and Chairman of the Board’

Nissan owns a controlling 34% stake in the smaller Japanese automaker.

Ghosn’s ousting from Mitsubishi brings about more questions about the Brazilian’s future as CEO of Renault. The French carmaker has stood by its boss, announcing Thierry Bolloré as deputy CEO while Ghosn is incarcerated, but has stopped short of dismissing him. Renault has the largest stake in its Alliance between itself and the two Japanese carmakers, something which has caused tensions in the lead up to the disclosure of misconduct.

Ghosn became chairman of Mitsubishi after Nissan took control of the company in 2016, displacing Masuko, who held the role alongside his duties as CEO. The vote of the board moves him back to his previous position. The Brazilian will keep his seat on the board as a director until he resigns or is voted off by shareholders, similar to the position in which Nissan finds itself.

There is a belief that Nissan is seeking ways to weaken the influence that Renault has over its business, with some reports suggesting that Ghosn was looking to merge the two companies. While Nissan has been an active force in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, there are hopes that the current situation will lead to more equality across the business.

In its statement issued last week, Nissan said: ‘The board of directors for Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. met today at the company’s global headquarters in Yokohama. At the beginning of the session, the board acknowledged the significance of the matter and confirmed that the long-standing Alliance partnership with Renault remains unchanged and that the mission is to minimise the potential impact and confusion on the day-to-day cooperation among the Alliance partners.’