Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn is arrested in Japan as Nissan ousts him over financial misconduct

Carlos Ghosn, the Nissan chairman and Renault CEO. Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images
  • Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn reportedly has been arrested in Japan, while Nissan says it will oust him over what it calls “significant acts of misconduct.”
  • Nissan accused Ghosn and another board member of misrepresenting salaries “over many years” and Ghosn of using company assets for personal use.
  • Follow Renault’s share price on Markets Insider.

Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of Nissan who also serves as the CEO and chairman of Renault, has been arrested in Japan and will be ousted from his role at Nissan after the car company said it uncovered “significant acts of misconduct.”

Renault’s shares, listed in Paris, plummeted after reports of the arrest, falling further after Nissan outlined allegations of misconduct against its chairman. The stock was down as much as 14% on the news, reaching its lowest level since 2014. The stock was down about 9.3% as of 4:18 p.m. in Paris trading (10:18 a.m. EST).

Ghosn, 64, and the representative director Greg Kelly had been officially reporting lower compensation “to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation,” Nissan said in a statement. Ghosn also used company assets for personal use, Nissan alleged.

Earlier Monday, Japan’s Asahi News reported that the Brazil-born Ghosn was to be arrested on suspicion of violating Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. Another Japanese media outlet, Yomiuri Shimbun, reported Monday that Ghosn had been arrested.

“These two gentlemen were arrested this evening, that is what I understand,” Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said at a press conference in Tokyo late on Monday, according to CNN.

“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. “Saikawa will also propose the removal of Greg Kelly from his position as Representative Director.”

Ghosn stepped down as CEO of Nissan in 2017. Nissan has been part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance since 1999. Renault’s shares, already battered by the US-China trade war, are down about 33% this year.

“Nissan deeply apologizes for causing great concern to our shareholders and stakeholders,” the company said.

See Nissan’s full statement below:

Nissan statement on Ghosn
Nissan’s statement on Ghosn. Nissan
Renault 5 year share price chart
Renault’s shares slumped to multiyear lows. Markets Insider