Nissan CEO tells shareholders Ghosn scandal won't be fixed overnight

Nissan CEO tells shareholders Ghosn scandal won't be fixed overnight

Nissan shareholders were meeting Monday for a vote expected to eject Carlos Ghosn from the board, as the detained former chairman fights multiple financial misconduct charges that have landed him in custody.

On April 4, Ghosn was rearrested by Tokyo prosecutors over new allegations of aggravated breach of trust, related to funds essentially being transferred through a Nissan dealership in Oman and back to himself, causing Nissan a loss of around 5 million USA dollars, according to prosecutors.

Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa and other Nissan Motor Co. executives bowed deeply in apology to the shareholders attending the extraordinary meeting at a Tokyo hotel.

He also said Nissan does "not intend to appoint a new chairman" after Ghosn.

The role of the French ambassador could lead to fresh friction between the countries over the highly sensitive case, which involves Nissan and French vehicle maker Renault, which were both previously run by Ghosn.

Saikawa started the meeting by apologizing for the inconvenience the scandal had caused, which was followed by a deep bow by him and a panel of Nissan executives and directors.

Ghosn, accused of financial misconduct, was arrested in November, but released in March.

The dismissals of Ghosn, 65, and Kelly, 62, and selection of Senard, 66, as a new board member means that Nissan ended its association with Ghosn after 20 high-profile years.

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"It is really such a pity as he was a brilliant manager", Miyamoto said to AP before heading into the meeting.

Ghosn's lawyers said the latest arrest was an attempt to silence him as he was due to speak at a news conference on April 11.

Saikawa on Monday said Nissan may claim damages against Ghosn, and that he would work to stabilize the company before standing down as chief executive.

After his arrest, Ghosn was also dismissed as chairman of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and replaced as chairman of Renault SA in the three-way alliance he created after he tendered his resignation while in detention in Tokyo. "I guess he became complacent as people kept praising him too much".

The vote severs the company's ties with Mr Ghosn, who was credited with saving it from bankruptcy two decades ago. He told shareholders the company will stick by the alliance, fix its governance problems and make Ghosn's ouster "a turning point".

His lawyers in Japan said they plan to show a videotape of Ghosn's comments on Tuesday and take questions afterward.

"As a French citizen, it should be a right", she told the Financial Times. "I'm going to France... and be more useful where I can be", she said just before leaving for Paris.

Carole Ghosn, who left Japan for France on Friday, described his arrest as humiliating. The date of his trial is not set. "We need to fulfill the task (of improving governance) and prepare the company for our next steps, and then pass the leadership baton".

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