Nissan denies corporate conspiracy to oust GhosnJune 30, 2020
Nissan dismissed allegations of a conspiracy inside the company to overthrow former chairman of the board of directors Carlos Ghosn.
Ghosn’s arrest in 2018 on charges of financial fraud led to the suggestion that the move was organized by Nissan executives, who opposed closer ties with Renault’s alliance partner.
“I know that books and the media spoke of a conspiracy, but there is no evidence to support this,” said Nissan Nagai, chairman of the Nissan Audit Commission, to shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Yokohama.
Answering a question about speculation, Nagai said the investigation into Ghosnwas conducted both inside and outside the company by law firms. Nissan has long argued that the decision to overthrow Ghosnwas based on allegations of understating his income and other financial irregularities brought forward by Tokyo prosecutors. Ghosn, who fled from Japan to Lebanon at the end of 2019, awaiting trial in Japan, said his arrest was planned by Nissan management.
The Monday meeting lasted almost two hours, twice as long as it was planned, as shareholders expressed dissatisfaction with CEO Makoto Uchida about how he plans to restore confidence in the company after the scandal with Ghosnand revive sales in the United States and China.
Uchida, who took office in December, said he would stick to his promise to resign as leader if he could not follow up on a restructuring plan for the Japanese automaker, which last month reported its first annual loss in 11 years. Uchida said his goal is to achieve a positive cash balance in the second half of the next fiscal year, or from October 2021 to March 2022. To this end, Nissan imposes a ban on the payment of remuneration to senior managers for at least six months, and also closes a number of enterprises.
In addition, in an effort to cut costs after several years of over-spending in pursuit of market share, Nissan plans to cut its lineup by about 20% and cut production capacity by closing factories in Spain and Indonesia and laying off workers in countries like Mexico.
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