Published: Sat, December 15, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Renault retains Ghosn as chairman despite his arrest

Renault retains Ghosn as chairman despite his arrest

The board of French carmaker Renault has made a decision to keep Carlos Ghosn as company boss, despite his imprisonment in Japan on charges of financial misconduct and concealing the real amount of his remuneration.

Renault, which launched an audit into its own payments to Ghosn after his arrest, said on Thursday its "preliminary conclusion" was that his compensation had been "in compliance with applicable law" and governance guidelines.

The decision runs contrary to Nissan and Mitsubishi, which both ousted Ghosn from his leadership roles.

The Tokyo District Court decided Ghosn and another executive Greg Kelly, both arrested November 19 for allegedly falsifying financial reports to underreport Ghosn's pay, will remain in custody through December 20.

Nissan has dismissed Ghosn as chairman and Kelly as a representative director.

In court papers, lawyers for Ghosn said that since Nissan had entered the apartment after his arrest, the automaker could have "inserted objects or documents that could compromise his good reputation".

The investigation in question revolved around the compensation of Ghosn between 2015 and 2018. If found guilty, each could face up to 10 years in prison.

In a statement issued by Renault after the meeting, the board "noted that, at this stage, it does not have information concerning Carlos Ghosn's defence". "I have no comment on speculation, and I am 100 percent concentrated on my job at Toyota", Leroy told Reuters.

Ghosn, Kelly and Nissan Motor Co.as a legal entity were charged Monday with violating financial laws by underreporting Ghosn's pay by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) in 2011-2015.

Ghosn is celebrated for saving Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy and rebuilding it as a money-making subsidiary of Renault. Nissan in turn controls Mitsubishi via a 34 percent holding.Ghosn and alleged accomplice, Nissan director Greg Kelly, remain in custody and have had limited opportunity to respond to the allegations or defend themselves, particularly in public.

Renault has appointed interim management, while keeping Ghosn in his positions as CEO and chairman.

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