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Corporate Conspiracy To Oust Its Former Boss Carlos Ghosn Denied By Nissan

Corporate Conspiracy To Oust Its Former Boss Carlos Ghosn Denied By Nissan
Allegations of conspiracy within Nissan to oust former Chairman Carlos Ghosn have been squarely rejected by the Japanese auto major. 

Following the arrest of Ghosn in Japan in November 2018 on charges of financial misconduct at Nissan, there were allegations of conspiracy being hatched against the former Nissan boss by Nissan executives
who were opposed to close ties with Nissan’s alliance partner and French auto company Renault.
"I know that in books and the media there has been talk about a conspiracy, but there are no facts whatsoever to support this," Motoo Nagai, chairman of Nissan's auditing committee, told shareholders at the company's annual meeting in Yokohama on Monday.

The investigation into the activities of Ghosn was conducted both internally and by outside law firms, Nagai said while responding to demands from a shareholder to address the speculations of conspiracy within the company.

Nissan has been saying since Ghosn’s arrest that the decision to remove Ghosn from the company was based on allegations of under-reporting his income and other financial transgressions that were brought in by prosecutors in Tokyo.

His arrest was set up by Nissan executives, Ghosn has said. The former Nissan chief jumped bail in Japan at the end of 2019 and fled to Lebanon even while he was awaiting trial in Japan.

With shareholders posing repeated questions to CEO Makoto Uchida on how he planned to restore trust in the company after the ouster of Ghosn and revive sales of the company products in the United States and China, the annual meeting of the company in Yokohama went on for two years despite being planned to last only four about an hour.

He will keep his promise to step down as the company leader in case of the company not being able to achieve the targets set according to a turnaround plan for the Japanese automaker, reiterated Uchida, who took the post in December. Nissan reported its first annual loss in 11 years last month.

Reaching positive cash flow during the latter half of the next fiscal year or by October of 2021 through March 2022 is the current goal of the company, Uchida said. He further informed that a pay freeze for senior managers for at least six months was being enacted by the company as q a part of the plans of the company to turn the business around.

“I will put Nissan’s growth back on track,” Uchida said, adding that he was prepared to step down if he fails. “We will make the utmost effort to resume shareholder returns as soon as possible.”

The revival plans of Nissan include reducing the number of models made by it by about 20 per cent while also cutting down on production capacity and closing down plants in Spain and Indonesia and job cuts of workers in countries including Mexico – all of this as a turnaround in years’ long strategy of the company of excessive spending in the pursuit of greater market share.

Nissan’s annual sale now is about 5 million vehicles which is far off from its previous ambitious target of selling 8 million vehicles annually.


Christopher J. Mitchell

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