The Juicy Details of How Carlos Ghosn Trampled Nissan

A 34-page report put together by the Nissan Special Committee for Improving Governance was made public on Wednesday, bringing to light some of the juicy details of the automotive industry’s biggest scandals since Dieselgate.
Nissan details Ghosn investigation 1 photo
Photo: Nissan
At the end of last year, Ghosn was arrested and charged with various wrongdoings, ranging from underreporting his compensation to personal use of company assets. Details on each of the charges are included in the report.

The most serious of charges, legally speaking, is that of underreporting his compensation by approximately 4.9 billion yen ($44 million) between 2011 and 2015. How did this work?

As per Nissan, Ghosn concentrated the “authority of so-called administrative departments” in the hands of Greg Kelly, his “most reliable surroundings in Nissan,” and together they created a structure “to retain certain information within a few limited persons and not to disclose it to other departments.”

This allowed Ghosn to keep his compensation a secret, as he “avoided disclosing some part of director compensations which he had granted to himself.” What’s more, “documents were falsified and the details of compensations were manipulated” as a means to defer the time of their payment after his retirement, thus circumventing Japanese legislation.

As for the charge of personal use of company assets, Nissan holds Ghosn accountable for buying residences in Rio de Janeiro and Beirut and having them renovated with Nissan money.

He also “used Nissan’s corporate jet airplane and charter jet airplanes for the private uses of himself and his family” and had his sister on the Nissan payroll as an advisor with few within the company knowing about it.

How was it possible for Ghosn to get away with it for so long? Nissan says this is due to the corporate culture created by him. In a way "deified within Nissan as a savior who had redeemed Nissan from collapse,” the executive “would transfer or drive into resignations Directors, officers and employees who would object, raise questions or not follow directions.”

The full report as published by Nissan can be found attached below.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter

 Download: Nissan Carlos Ghosn report (PDF)

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories