In a defiant stance, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has declared his determination to combat the accusations against him but firmly stated that he will not be returning to Japan, where he was famously arrested in 2018 before fleeing to Lebanon.
During a news conference held at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo, Ghosn addressed the audience via video link, expressing his intent to hold Nissan accountable for the alleged harm inflicted upon him and his family. He emphasized that the damage caused by the automaker was irreparable.
Legal Action and Seeking Justice
In June, Ghosn initiated a $1 billion criminal lawsuit in Lebanon, seeking compensation amounting to $588 million for lost remuneration and an additional $500 million for moral damages. His pursuit of justice aims to ensure that those responsible for his ordeal face the consequences of their actions. However, Ghosn clarified that his intentions were not driven by revenge, contrary to the portrayal.
Ghosn’s Impact and Controversy
Once a prominent figure in the global automotive industry, Carlos Ghosn garnered both acclaim and scrutiny throughout his career. As the highest-paid executive in Japan, his generous compensation drew media attention and occasional controversy. Additionally, his charismatic personality made him a polarizing figure in the corporate landscape of Japan.
Despite the controversies, Ghosn was acknowledged for steering Nissan through challenging times and positioning the company ahead of its domestic competitors. However, allegations of financial misconduct ultimately led to his ousting as chairman in 2018 and subsequent removal as a board member in the following year. The charges against him involve alleged income misrepresentation and personal use of company assets, accusations that Ghosn vehemently denies. He endured 129 days of incarceration following his arrest.
Escape from Japan and Corporate Conspiracy Claims
Carlos Ghosn’s sensational fall from grace and his daring escape from Japan, reportedly hidden in a Yamaha instrument case, captured global attention. Ghosn contends that his downfall resulted from a corporate conspiracy to remove him from his position. Consequently, he launched various legal battles to clear his name.
Ghosn’s legal counsel, Nobuo Gohara, a lawyer and former prosecutor, highlighted the unfairness of Japan’s special prosecutors’ office and expressed initial hopes that Ghosn would remain in the country. However, Gohara acknowledged that Ghosn’s decision to flee was unavoidable due to the perceived injustice of the system.
Ghosn’s Perspective on the Nissan-Renault Alliance
During the news conference, Ghosn expressed his dissatisfaction with the current state of collaboration between Nissan and its alliance partner, Renault. As a pivotal figure bridging the gap between the Japanese and French automakers, Ghosn criticized the lack of progress in rebuilding trust between the two companies since his arrest.
He lamented that the alliance had been fractured, with grandiose statements but little substantive action. Ghosn attributed the breakdown to his arrest in 2018, which resulted in a diminished alliance and reduced cooperation between the two companies. The future prospects of their collaboration appear bleak, as Ghosn described it as a “minialliance” with limited scope.
Challenges Ahead for Nissan
Despite the intention to formalize a new relationship structure between Nissan and Renault by March, the companies have yet to achieve this objective. Last month, Nissan announced the departure of its Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta amid reports of internal complaints and clashes in personality.
Ghosn characterized the internal situation as a continuing “soap opera” and lamented that the corporate intrigue persisted. The path forward for Nissan remains uncertain, as it strives to navigate the aftermath of Ghosn’s tenure and restore stability and trust within the company.
Carlos Ghosn’s resolute determination to challenge the allegations against him and seek retribution reveals the enduring impact of his tumultuous journey. While he remains outside the jurisdiction of Japan, his legal battles and public statements aim to shed light on what he perceives as an unjust system. As the automotive industry watches closely, the repercussions of Ghosn’s actions continue to reverberate throughout Nissan and the alliance it shares with Renault.