Former Nissan and Mitsubishi chief Carlos Ghosn will step down from his role as chairman and chief executive of Renault.
Ghosn had been at Renault since 1996, where his reputation for streamlining earned him the nickname ‘Le Cost Killer’. He since rose in the ranks to become chief of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.
Ghosn faces two charges of under-declaring his income over a period of eight years and another charge of seeking to shift personal investment losses onto Nissan. He was arrested on the charges alongside Greg Kelly, an aide to Ghosn and former head of human resources at Nissan.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Economy and Finance Minister for Franc, Bruno Le Maire confirmed the news of Ghosn’s resignation from Renault to Agence France-Presse.
The Renault board is expected to meet at its headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourtand to name interim chief executive Thierry Bollore as the company’s chief executive officer and the head of Michelin, Jean-Dominique Senard, as chairman.
Ghosn remains in a Tokyo prison following his arrest on November last year, having twice been denied bail. He had been chief executive officer of Nissan since 2001 and was credited with salvaging the company’s fortunes. He was stripped of his position in Nissan immediately following arrest, and was removed as chairman of Mitsubishi later in the month.
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Nissan has also stated it is to hold an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting by mid-April to remove its former chairman from the board.
Ghosn’s most notable achievement at Nissan may be the redirection of the company to focus on electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf having since become the biggest selling EV in the world by a large margin.
When Ghosn became chief executive officer of Renault in 2005, coupled with his position at Nissan he became the first person to ever run two Fortune 500 companies simultaneously. In addition he was also to become chairman of Mitsubishi from 2016.