Car Industry Leer en español

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn arrested in Japan for alleged financial misconduct

The Nissan board will vote to oust Ghosn on Thursday.

Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has been arrested following allegations of financial misconduct.

In a statement, the automaker confirmed that it was conducting an internal investigation based on reports from a whistleblower, and that the investigation affects both Ghosn and Greg Kelly, Nissan's representative director.

The automaker claims its investigation has uncovered that both Ghosn and Kelly were underreporting compensation amounts on securities reports. The statement also says that Nissan found "significant acts of misconduct" elsewhere, including personal use of company assets, further implicating both Ghosn and Kelly.

Ghosn was one of the highest paid executives in Japan.

Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

According to the statement, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa will ask the automaker's board of directors to remove Ghosn from his position as chairman. That vote will take place on Thursday, Reuters reports.

In terms of how much money Ghosn allegedly underreported, Reuters cites Japanese media reports saying that 10 billion yen (about $88 million) was reported as just 5 billion yen. Nissan said it is cooperating fully with Japanese investigators.

In addition to being Nissan's chairman, Ghosn is also the chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. He's also the CEO of Renault and the chairman of Mitsubishi Motors. Bertel Schmitt reports that the Mitsubishi Motors press office says the company plans to remove Ghosn from his position, but as for Renault, it only said that it would convene a board meeting soon.

Ghosn started his automotive career at Michelin, progressing from a plant manager in France to the CEO of Michelin North America by 1990, at the age of 36. In 1996, Ghosn was hired as an executive vice president at Renault, where he oversaw the creation of the Renault-Nissan Alliance in an attempt to boost both automakers' bottom lines. The Alliance, which eventually swallowed up Mitsubishi as well, would grow to become one of the largest automakers in the world.

Update, 11:46 a.m. Eastern: Added new information about Ghosn's other current positions within the Alliance.

Nissan: Stay up to date on all things Nissan.

Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi's doing everything it can to carve itself a larger niche.