Carlos Ghosn to remain Renault’s CEO despite arrest over financial misconduct
A few days back on 19th November, Renault’s CEO Carlos Ghosn was arrested over the suspected breach of Japanese financial trading law and Nissan Motor Co. had decided to remove him from the position of Chairman. However, he remains the Chief Executive of Renault.
As the investigation continues Carlos would be temporarily incapacitated and while he stays absent for a few days, the Chief Operating Officer Thierry Breton would become the Deputy CEO, with "same powers" as Carlos.
Nissan had earlier shared that they have been conducting an internal investigation over the past several months regarding misconduct involving Carlos and Director Greg Kelly. As per their findings, over many years both Carlos and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.
Besides raising questions on Carlos, this scandal puts company’s reputation in jeopardy. Carlos was once considered as one of the world's most powerful auto executives. He was known as the architect of a three-way alliance which together sells more cars worldwide than any other automaker. But this allegation has raised new questions and jolted the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance. While French and Japanese officials are scrambling to reassure investors on the fate of this partnership between three automakers, the workforce of these companies also stay skeptical. A production line worker at the Flins plant outside Paris was reported saying, "I hope our future isn't at risk."
Sometimes actions of one or some of the leaders or employees puts the reputation of the entire company at stake and people start questioning the practices of the entire organization. At this time, the top leadership and key decision makers have to maintain composure and work together to come up with a plan to navigate through these difficult times. Strong communication with all the key stakeholders should be made to clarify all the doubts that may have surrounded them. Being highly responsive and cooperative in these times can work in favor of the company.