Nissan board members on Thursday voted unanimously to fire the carmaker’s chairman, Carlos Ghosn, as he languished in a Japanese jail.
Ghosn has been accused of under-reporting his income by millions of dollars and numerous other financial irregularities that have emerged after a months-long internal Nissan probe that was sparked by a whistleblower.
“After reviewing a detailed report of the internal investigation, the board voted unanimously … to discharge Carlos Ghosn as chairman of the board,” the statement said.
The disgraced auto titan has been credited with reviving the Japanese brand and forging an alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, which sold a combined 10.6 million cars last year and employs more than 450,000 people globally.
However, Ghosn’s downfall may put the alliance’s future in jeopardy as he was both the architect and the lynchpin holding it together.
Nissan stressed that its “long-standing… partnership with Renault remains unchanged” and that “the mission is to minimize the potential impact and confusion on the day-to-day cooperation” between the firms.
Prosecutors intercepted the Brazil-born tycoon Monday as he landed in Tokyo on a private jet, accusing him and another executive, Greg Kelly, of under-reporting the chairman’s income by around $44 million between June 2011 and June 2015.
– With reporting from Agence France-Presse