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Carlos Ghosn Planned to Remove Nissan CEO Prior to Arrest for Financial Misconduct

A report by The Wall Street Journal this weekend indicates that Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of Nissan, was planning a management shakeup that included removing Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa from his position in the period leading up to his arrest by Japanese authorities for alleged financial misconduct. The latest twist in the saga comes from two anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Ghosn himself was removed as Nissan chairman three days after being arrested in Japan on suspicion of having underreported compensation over a period of eight years, and of having used company funds for personal purposes.

The executive never presented his management reshuffling plan to the Nissan board of directors. The board’s approval would have been required in order to remove Saikawa from his position as CEO.

Carlos Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19 in Tokyo as he was about to transfer from one plane to another. He has been held in detention since then.

The anonymous sources stated that Ghosn wanted to reshuffle the upper management team at Nissan due to mediocre financial results under Saikawa. Nissan’s operating income dropped by 17% in the first half of the current fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2018. Then-chairman Ghosn was also unhappy with the way the company has handled the final inspection scandal in Japan. Nissan has been forced to recall over 1 million vehicles there. The latest recall to do with inspection oversights came this past Friday and affected 150,000 more vehicles.

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