Jose Munoz takes leave of absence in wake of Ghosn arrest

Jose Munoz

Nissan Motor, Jose Munoz, a senior executive of the automaker, has taken a leave of absence in a sudden management shake-up as the automaker deals with the aftermath of the detention of former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Munoz’s absence comes as Ghosn has been held in a detention center since his November 19 arrest on accusations of financial misconduct, which was followed by re-arrests over more allegations.

In a statement on Saturday, Nissan stated that Munoz has taken a leave of absence to permit “him to assist the company by concentrating on special tasks arising from recent events.”

As a result, his scheduled appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week would be dropped, a Nissan spokesman stated.

According to many, Munoz is considered to be a close ally of Ghosn, whose arrest has surprised the auto industry and strained Nissan’s ties with French partner Renault SA where he still continues to be a chairman and chief executive.

It has prompted some soul searching at Nissan, which has acknowledged that too much power was focused with Ghosn after he oversaw the turnaround of the struggling automaker two decades ago after its rescue from the brink by Renault.

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