Carlos Ghosn: Renault ‘preparing to replace’ jailed boss

CEO of Renault-Nissan Carlos Ghosn listens while attending a joint press conference along with CEO of German automaker Daimler Dieter Zetsche at the Paris Motor Show on September 30, 2016. Image copyright Getty Images

Renault is moving to replace its boss, Carlos Ghosn, who is in detention on charges of financial misconduct, according to media reports.

The French carmaker has kept Mr Ghosn on as chief executive and chairman since he was first arrested in November.

The reports come after a Tokyo court rejected a request for bail on Tuesday.

Lawyers for Mr Ghosn, who denies any wrongdoing, have said he could remain in custody for months.

The 64-year-old was the architect of the Renault-Nissan alliance and brought Mitsubishi on board in 2016.

Both Nissan and Mitsubishi sacked him as chairman after his arrest, but Renault has so far kept him on as he awaits trial.

The French government, which has a 15% stake in Renault, has requested a board meeting to consider candidates to replace him, Reuters reported, citing sources.

The board meeting may take place this weekend, according to reports.

Michelin chief executive Jean-Dominique Senard was named in several reports as a likely candidate to replace Mr Ghosn as chairman.

Renault did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr Ghosn was first charged last year with under-reporting his pay package for the five years to 2015.

Last week, a fresh charge claimed he understated his compensation for another three years.

Mr Ghosn was also indicted on a more serious charge of breach of trust, whereby he is accused of having transferred high personal investment losses to Nissan.

His lengthy detention without trial has drawn criticism and raised suspicions of power politics within the alliance.

The Brazilian-born executive was previously hailed a hero in Japan for turning around the ailing Nissan.

Renault was seen as the dominant partner because of its 43% shareholding in Nissan, despite selling fewer vehicles. Nissan’s shareholding in Renault is only 15%.

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