Nissan may ask ex-Toray boss Sakakibara to chair board meetings

Lloyd Doyle
March 15, 2019

Nissan has tasked an external committee with helping to improve corporate governance after the arrest and ouster of Ghosn, who faces charges of financial misconduct including understating his compensation by about ¥9 billion over almost a decade.

Ghosn owns more than 3 million Nissan shares, or somewhat less than 0.1 percent of total shares, according to the most recent disclosure.

The move gave the alliance time to reformulate the structure of its board of directors without having to undo the alliance - for now anyway.

Nissan set up the governing body to discuss steps to strengthen its governance after Ghosn was removed from the chairman post following his arrest on November 19 for alleged financial misconduct.

Nissan is considering naming Sadayuki Sakakibara, former chairman of the Japan Business Federation and co-chair of a Nissan government committee, as the chief of the board.

That would replace Dutch-based companies now linking Nissan and Renault and, separately, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, the people said.

The notice from Nissan says its investigation also found Ghosn used company money for personal expenses.

The Japanese automaker was on the verge of bankruptcy 20 years ago, when Renault sent Ghosn to help lead its turnaround.

The date for his trial has not been set.

The new body will purportedly allow the alliance to cooperate more efficiently, effectively and on a consensual basis, Senard said, adding that the shift in leadership structure would allow the alliance to better respond to changes in the automotive industry, such as the growing popularity of electric vehicles. He was released on a $9 million bail only last week. He has been let out on bail under conditions that he should remain in Japan and should not destroy evidence.

Former Alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn was barred from attending the board meeting by a Tokyo judge.

His request and subsequent appeal were both rejected by the Tokyo District Court as part of his bail agreement prohibits him from contacting with Nissan executives or others potentially involved in the case against him. He also said he would not be chairman at Nissan but vice chairman.

It is unclear whether he will try to attend next month's shareholders meeting. This has always been an issue for Nissan executives, who believe the larger Japanese automaker shouldn't be controlled by the small European brand.

Ghosn faces three charges of financial misconduct.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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