Sat, Nov 24, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Nissan aiming to nominate chairman by Dec. 20: source

Reuters, TOKYO

Nissan Motor Co aims to nominate a new chairman within a month or two, hopefully before its next board meeting scheduled for Dec. 20, a source familiar with the matter said, after the automaker ousted Carlos Ghosn as chairman on Thursday.

The nomination is to be done by the Japanese automaker’s newly created advisory committee that includes the company’s three independent directors.

The new chairman would hold the post “at least” until Nissan’s next shareholders’ meeting. No decision on whether to hold an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting has been made, the source added.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for June next year.

Another special committee led by the independent directors to discuss improving governance based on third-party advice would then likely propose setting up a nomination committee to select a permanent chairman, said the source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

“It’s a two stage process,” the source said. “First we have to decide on a temporary chairman as soon as possible.”

Nissan was not immediately available for comment yesterday, a public holiday in Japan.

Nissan’s board voted unanimously to oust Ghosn, who was arrested on Monday over allegations of financial misconduct including under-reporting of his remuneration and personal use of company assets.

Japanese prosecutors are likely to build a new criminal case against Ghosn for understating his remuneration by ¥3 billion (US$27 million) over three years from fiscal 2015, the Asahi newspaper reported yesterday.

Ghosn and former Nissan representative director Greg Kelly are being investigated in a case of alleged conspiracy to understate Ghosn’s remuneration by about half the ¥10 billion he earned at Nissan over five years from fiscal 2010.

Combined, Ghosn has understated his remuneration at Nissan by about ¥8 billion in the eight years through the fiscal year that ended in March, the paper said, without citing sources.

It did not mention whether a new case would also target Kelly.

With the duo still in custody, neither man has been able to defend himself publicly against the allegations.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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