On Wednesday, an external committee which is reviewing governance at Nissan Motor Co claimed that there were enough facts to suspect violations of laws and the private use of the company funds by the expelled chairman Carlos Ghosn.
Following a three-month audit of Nissan’s governance after a scandal that shook the global auto industry, the committee put the blame squarely on what it called Ghosn’s concentration of power. It also acknowledged Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa’s role in Ghosn’s salary arrangement.
Since French automaker Renault SA agreed to rescue Nissan, the committee described a corporate culture at Nissan “in which no one can make any objections to Mr. Ghosn”, who was “in a way deified within Nissan as a saviour who had redeemed Nissan from collapse.”
In a statement, a spokesperson of Ghosn claimed that the accusations made against the former Nissan Chairman “will be revealed for what they are: part of an unsubstantiated smear campaign against Carlos Ghosn to prevent the integration of the Alliance and conceal Nissan’s deteriorating performance.”
A seven-member committee said in its report that “There are facts sufficient to suspect violations of laws and regulations, violation of internal rules and private use of company funds and expenses … by Mr. Ghosn,”
“It is clear that there are issues requiring improvement with respect to Nissan’s governance as it could not prevent the misconduct,” it added.
On Wednesday, the committee co-chairman Seiichiro Nishioka told a briefing in Yokohama, “We expect Nissan will take these recommendations seriously and execute them in a swift manner to build the best possible governance structure.”

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