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Former Nissan CEO Ghosn Was Set Up By Company Executives: Bloomberg

Neer Varshney

Former Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (OTC: NSANY) executives started plotting to oust Chairman Carlos Ghosn almost a year ahead of his arrest in 2018, Bloomberg reported Friday, based on internal emails and conversations with people close to the matter.

What Happened

According to Bloomberg, Nissan executives launched a "methodical campaign" targeting Ghosn, after he pledged to make the merger of Nissan with Renault SA (OTC: RNSDF) "irreversible" in February 2018.

Former Nissan senior vice president, who acted as a whistle-blower against Ghosn, in mid-2018 told Hitoshi Kawaguchi, a senior manager at the company who managed government relations, that Nissan had to "neutralize [Ghosn's] initiatives before it's too late," Bloomberg reported.

Nada told then-CEO Hiroto Saikawa around the same time that there was "no merit" in the merger between Nissan and Renault and that Ghosn "can create a major disruption and you may become a victim of it."

Why It Matters

Ghosn infamously escaped from Japan to Lebanon stuffed in a box late last year.

The former Nissan executive has maintained that he is innocent and made claims about being framed because other executives opposed his intention to merge Nissan with the associated companies, Renault and Mitsubishi Corp (OTC: MSBHY).

Ghosn was arrested in Japan in November 2018 on charges of committing financial misconduct for years, misusing the company's assets, and under-reporting his salary to the authorities.

Nissan also filed a lawsuit against the executive in February, seeking $90 million in damages for breach of fiduciary duty and misusing the company's assets.

Nissan Price Action

Nissan shares closed 3.9% higher at $7.93 in the otc market on Friday. Renault shares closed 3.2% lower at $25.44 in the otc market the same day.

Image: Wikimedia

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