Mitsubishi Motors follows Nissan in ousting chairman Carlos Ghosn

Mitsubishi Motors follows Nissan in ousting chairman Carlos Ghosn
Posted at 3:39 AM, Nov 26, 2018

Mitsubishi Motors has followed Nissan in removing Carlos Ghosn as its chairman.

The Japanese carmaker's board of directors voted on Monday to oust the auto industry legend, who was arrested in Tokyo last week on suspicion of financial misconduct while serving as chairman of Nissan.

The decision is the latest blow to an alliance Ghosn built between Mitsubishi (MMTOF), Nissan (NSANY) and France's Renault (RNSDF).

In a statement to the Tokyo stock exchange, Mitsubishi said that the decision by its board was unanimous. It has appointed CEO Osamu Masuko as interim chairman.

The move by Mitsubishi ends Ghosn's reign at the helm of two of Japan's major carmakers. Nissan on Thursday also voted unanimously to remove Ghosn, and another director, Greg Kelly, from their posts.

Ghosn retains his positions as CEO and chairman of Renault, but the French carmaker has asked other people to perform those roles on an interim basis.

The Brazilian-born executive was detained by Tokyo prosecutors a week ago following an internal investigation at Nissan that revealed "significant acts of misconduct" over many years, including understating his income in financial reports and misusing company assets.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told employees at a town hall meeting on Monday that Ghosn had accumulated too much power at the top of the three-way alliance, and he was concerned this was damaging business.

Ghosn has not yet commented publicly on the allegations. Japan's public broadcaster NHK, citing unnamed sources, reported over the weekend that Ghosn has denied wrongdoing.

He remains a director at both Nissan and Mitsubishi, as separate shareholder votes are needed to eject Ghosn from the boards entirely.

This is a developing story.