Nissan plans to oust Carlos Ghosn over 'misconduct'

Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn arrested over ‘significant’ financial misconduct

"As the misconduct uncovered through our internal investigation constitutes clear violations of the duty of care as directors, Nissan's Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa will propose to the Nissan Board of Directors to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions as Chairman and Representative Director", Nissan said in the statement.

The (suspected) crime is a violation of Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Law, and the authorities have already begun searching the offices of Nissan's headquarters and other locations.

Ghosn, a rare foreign top executive in Japan, is well regarded for having turned Nissan around from near bankruptcy.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office declined to comment. He said in September that he will continue to pare back his roles at the three individual companies, while continuing to head their alliance. It also said its board would propose that Ghosn be terminated swiftly as chairman.

Prosecutors were prepared to arrest Ghosn, 64, after further questioning, the sources said. Nissan's German-listed securities plunged 12 percent.

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"If he is arrested, it's going to rock the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance as he is the keystone of the alliance", said Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW, a Tokyo-based research and consulting firm. Spokesmen for Renault and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T) alliance did not immediately return calls and messages seeking comment.

"He is the man of charisma for the alliance".

Brazilian-born, of Lebanese descent and a French citizen, Ghosn began his career at tyre manufacturer Michelin in France, before moving on to Renault. Ghosn was also personally involved in acquiring assurances from prime minister Theresa May that the auto manufacturing sector would not be harmed in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in 2016. He became Nissan president the following year, and was involved in rebuilding the automaker as both president and CEO from June 2001.

According to Japanese news agency Kyodo, Ghosn is believed to have understated his income by 5 billion yen over five years, a total of around £34 million.

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