Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

With one final vote, Nissan shareholders dump Ghosn, seek clarity on company's future

Stock MarketsApr 08, 2019 04:45AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO - Greg Kelly, the former deputy of ousted Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, is seen in the car, as he leaves after being released from a detention centre in Tokyo

By Naomi Tajitsu

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co shareholders ousted Carlos Ghosn as a director on Monday, severing his last tie with the Japanese automaker he rescued from near-bankruptcy two decades ago and from which he is now accused of siphoning funds.

Days after Ghosn's latest arrest in Tokyo, shareholders gathered for an extraordinary meeting, expressing bafflement and disquiet about growing allegations of financial misconduct laid out before them - while seeking more clarity on how Nissan plans to recover from the scandal.

Meeting shareholders for the first time since Ghosn's initial arrest in November, Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa and Jean-Dominique Senard, the chairman of its alliance partner Renault (PA:RENA), said they needed to focus on collaboration and improving governance at the Japanese company. But they offered few concrete details about the way forward.

"I can't comprehend how this could have happened, despite having auditors," said Setsuko Shibata, a retired homemaker who said her family had held Nissan shares for decades. "I can't say I feel better about the situation after today's explanation."

Ghosn has denied all the allegations against him and said he is the victim of a boardroom coup.

Proceedings were at times interrupted by some hecklers on the floor of the meeting, which was attended by a near record-high 4,100 shareholders.

The shareholders voted to remove both Ghosn and co-accused Greg Kelly from Nissan's board of directors. Kelly has also denied the charges against him.

They also voted in Senard as a director, a move that was widely seen as an attempt to assuage concern about the future of the Nissan-Renault automaking alliance engineered by Ghosn.


Prosecutors last week took the highly unusual step of re-arresting Ghosn - who had been out on $9 million bail - returning him to the Tokyo detention center where he had previously spent more than 100 days.

Under the latest allegations, he is suspected of trying to enrich himself to the tune of $5 million at the automaker's expense.

Ghosn's lawyers called the arrest an attempt to muzzle him. He was due to speak at a news conference this week, but instead a video statement from him will be shown on Tuesday at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (FCCJ), the FCCJ said on its website.

Ghosn has been charged with under-reporting his Nissan salary for a decade, and of temporarily transferring personal financial losses to Nissan's books. However, the new allegation is potentially more serious, as it could show he used company funds for his own purposes.


Both Saikawa and Senard talked about the need to focus more on unity and respect among executives and workers, although neither offered details on the outlook for their complex capital structure, in which smaller Renault owns a bigger share of Nissan.

"I will constantly suggest the best possible evolutions in the framework of the alliance," Senard said after voters approved his appointment to Nissan's board. "We want to secure the right future for Nissan," he said, without elaborating.

The fall of one of the world's most-feted executives appeared to have left some Nissan shareholders nonplussed.

"I was hoping to hear more details about the path forward. I wanted to know what sort of role a Japanese company can play in an international alliance like this," said a shareholder who declined to be identified for personal privacy issues.

"The situation seems to go deeper than it looks based on the information," said 68-year-old shareholder Roberto Montoya. "I'm very suspicious of the situation, and most people are."

Saikawa said Nissan may claim damages against Ghosn and that he did not want to pay severance to the former chair. He also said he would work to stabilize the company before standing down as chief executive.

"This is not an issue we can fix overnight," Saikawa told shareholders. "We need to fulfill the task (of improving governance) and prepare the company for our next steps, and then pass the leadership baton."

With one final vote, Nissan shareholders dump Ghosn, seek clarity on company's future

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email