Got an extra $44 million? Apparently Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn does – Japanese officials arrested the notable executive yesterday after a whistleblower report and subsequent internal investigation revealed that Ghosn, along with another executive, Greg Kelly, underreported his income for years. The stock market responded with a nose dive for Nissan shares as well Renault (also chaired by Ghosn).
According to CNN business writers Jethro Mullen and Daniel Shane, auto industry giants Nissan, Renault, and Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors (also chaired by Ghosn) , “make up the biggest global carmaking alliance, which makes one of every nine cars sold around the world. The three companies employ more than 470,000 people in nearly 200 countries.”
Ghosn is being charged by Japaneese prosecutors for underestimating his compensation by 5 billion yen. Kelly is being charged with aiding Ghosn.
The arrest of both Ghosn and Kelly in Hong Kong have reverberated around the world; the French government owns 15% of Renault, prompting a comment from French President Emmanuel Macron that he was closely watching the situation.
Nissan has been been actively doing damage control and issued a statement of apology and reassurance to shareholders and stakeholders. It is expected that Ghosn will be removed from his role as Chairman from all three companies. A prison sentence and fines as high as $89 million are also projected.
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