Ghosn barred from Nissan board meeting ahead of new alliance structure – Nikkei Asian Review


TOKYO — A Tokyo court rejected a request from former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn to attend the automaker’s board meeting on Tuesday, as the heads of the Japanese company and its alliance partners, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, prepare to unveil a new structure for their partnership.

Ghosn is prohibited from contacting anyone involved in his case, including Nissan executives, while he still remains a director of Nissan. Ghosn’s lawyer said his client aims to fulfill his “responsibility as a director,” but the Tokyo court may have judged his attendance would impact testimonies when the case goes to trial. Ghosn immediately appealed the court’s decision.

Meanwhile, the chiefs of Nissan Motor, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors will hold a joint news conference late on Tuesday afternoon.

The three alliance members are expected to explain changes in their structure, including the foundation of a new decision-making body to discuss business collaboration.

Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard and its CEO Thierry Bollore will be present at the announcement. Hiroto Saikawa, the president and CEO of Nissan, and Osamu Masuko, chairman and CEO of Mitsubishi, will also be present.

The new decision-making body will discuss business collaboration across the three-way alliance, Nikkei reported this weekend, replacing the setup that concentrated power in Ghosn’s hands.

Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, left, will visit Japan and meet with Hiroto Saikawa, president and CEO of Nissan. (Nikkei montage/Reuters)

Senard, Saikawa, and Masuko will sit on the top decision-making panel. A broad range of topics will be on the table, such as joint development and procurement as well as the alliance’s future. Senard could serve as chairman.

The three automakers used to discuss collaborative strategy mostly at an alliance board headed by Ghosn, who chaired all three companies before his fall from grace. Representatives from the companies met after Ghosn’s arrest in November and agreed to do away with one-man decision-making and shift to a more collaborative set-up.

The alliance has joint ventures Renault-Nissan BV and Nissan-Mitsubishi BV in Amsterdam. The ventures will halt operations after the new body is established.

Nikkei staff wirter Eri Sugiura contributed to this story.

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