Nissan shareholders ousted Carlos Ghosn as a director on Monday, severing his last tie with the automaker he rescued from near-bankruptcy about 20 years and from which he is now alleged of siphoning funds.
Days after Ghosn’s recent arrest in Tokyo, shareholders gathered for an extraordinary meeting, showing bafflement and disquiet about increasing allegations of financial misconduct laid out before them – while seeking more clarity on how Nissan prepares to recover from the scandal.
Meeting shareholders for the first time since Ghosn’s first arrest in November, Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa and Jean-Dominique Senard, the chairman of its alliance partner Renault, stated they needed to focus on collaboration and enhancing governance at the Japanese company. But they offered some concrete information about the way forward.
“I can’t comprehend how this could have happened, despite having auditors,” stated Setsuko Shibata, a retired homemaker who stated her family had held Nissan shares for decades. “I can’t say I feel better about the situation after today’s explanation.”
Ghosn has rejected all the allegations against him and maintained that he is the victim of a boardroom coup.
Proceedings were at times interfered by some hecklers on the floor of the meeting and it was attended by 4,100 shareholders.
The shareholders voted to eliminate both Ghosn and co-accused Greg Kelly from Nissan’s board of directors. Kelly has also denied the charges against him.
They also voted in Senard as a director, a move that was largely seen as an attempt to assuage concern regarding the future of the Nissan-Renault automaking alliance developed by Ghosn.