Renault appoints provisional leadership, retains Ghosn as chairman

Paris: French automobile group Renault decided to appoint two interim heads of the company to replace Carlos Ghosn, who remains as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer but is “temporarily incapacitated,” the company announced in a statement.

During an urgent meeting on Tuesday evening, Renault’s Board of Directors resolved that the lead independent director Philippe Lagayette will preside over its meetings on an interim basis and that the Deputy CEO Thierry Bollore will “therefore lead the management team of the Group, having the same powers as Mr. Carlos Ghosn,” who was arrested in Japan for alleged embezzlement.

“Mr. Ghosn, temporarily incapacitated, remains Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,” said Renault’s Board of Directors, adding “the Board is unable to comment on the evidence seemingly gathered against Mr. Ghosn by Nissan and the Japanese judicial authorities.” Efe reported.

The Board recalled that the measures adopted are “provisional” and aim to “preserve the interests of the group and ensure the continuity of the operational activities.”

Renault’s directors asked Nissan on “principles of transparency, trust and mutual respect set forth in the Alliance Charter” to provide “all information in their possession arising from the internal investigations related to Mr. Ghosn.”

During this period, the Board will “meet regularly” under Lafayette’s presidency to “ensure” the continuity of the alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi, something that had been called into questioned by the outbreak of the scandal.

“The Board endorsed the support expressed by the Nissan management to the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, which remains the priority of the Group,” the memo said.

The solution adopted by Renault comes close to the one demanded earlier on Tuesday by the French economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, who considered that Ghosn “is no longer in a position” to continue as the head of the group, but that he has the right to the presumption of innocence.