There is no question that Carlos Ghosn's sudden and hard fall from his post as the architect and Boss of arguably the strongest global automotive alliance, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, has shocked the auto industry.
Industry personnel have been following the issue since it broke out as details have been slim as both Nissan and Mitsubishi, two key members of the alliance, had been conducting their respective investigations, going so far as to hiring an external law firm to do so. And just this weekend, they released their findings.
Ghosn, together with other directors including Greg Kelly (who was also named in the initial reports of misconduct), had allegedly received EUR 7.822 million (around JPW 1 billion) in improper payments from a Nissan and Mitsubishi joint venture company called Nissan-Mitsubishi B.V. (NMBV). The joint venture is equally-owned (50:50) by Nissan and Mitsubishi.
The payment in question was called the “Managing Director's renumeration”. According to the two companies, Ghosn was able to receive the sum via an unauthorized contract that both Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa and Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko had no knowledge of.
As CEOs, Saikawa and Masuko are directors of NMBV while Ghosn was the Managing Director. Saikawa and Masuko received no payments from NMBV.
Nissan and Mitsubishi paid NMBV a total of EUR 15.62 million (about JPY 2.095 billion) as a service fee. What Ghosn allegedly received from April 2018 to November 2018 was rougly half of that amount.
Mitsubishi Motors says they will pursue liability against Ghosn while Nissan says they will consider measures to try and recover the sum.
Following Ghosn's arrest by Japanese authorities due to financial misconduct, Nissan and Mitsubishi quickly moved to remove him from his lofty perches atop their respective companies, and set forth to put in new measures to prevent any such incidents from happening again.