Nissan Motor Co. says it will move to oust chairman Carlos Ghosn after a months-long investigation uncovered "significant misconduct" including the under-reporting of his income by millions, reports the AP. The Japanese automaker says the probe was spurred by a whistleblower, and that the situation also allegedly involves Representative Director Greg Kelly. As the company explains in a statement cited by Reuters, "The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation." Kyodo reports Ghosn's salary was underreported to the tune of $44 million over a five-year period beginning in 2011. The AP reports Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa confirmed Ghosn was arrested Monday after being questioned by Tokyo prosecutors. He added the board would vote on removing Ghosn and Kelly on Thursday.
Ghosn, 64, is described by the Guardian as "one of the world's most powerful auto bosses" who "has managed the seemingly impossible job of running one carmaker in Japan, and another in France." Indeed, he's been CEO of Renault since 2005, and led that company along with Nissan, where he served as CEO from 2001 until April 2017. He's also been chair of Mitsubishi Motors since 2016. The Guardian pulls out lines from a 2014 Fortune profile that spoke to just how key Ghosn has been:
"Ghosn seems to be built for the job: He has the ability to connect with strangers instantly and to compartmentalize, no discernible private life outside his family, and a willingness to travel 300,000 miles a year (that’s 11 circumnavigations). The question is, Who will run this leviathan, which he calls the Renault-Nissan Alliance, after the 60-year-old retires, or if, God forbid, something happens to him?"
Shares in Renault SA of France sank 14% on the news, which broke after Japanese markets were done for the day. (Read more Carlos Ghosn