PARIS • French carmaker Renault yesterday confirmed the appointment of Michelin's Mr Jean-Dominique Senard as its new chairman and Mr Thierry Bollore as new chief executive after Carlos Ghosn resigned in the wake of a financial scandal that rocked the French carmaker and its alliance with Japan's Nissan.
"In addition, Renault's board of directors wishes to supervise actively the functioning of the alliance and decides to give its chairman full responsibility for managing the alliance on behalf of Renault, in liaison with the chief executive officer," Renault said.
The widely expected appointments may begin to resolve a Renault-Nissan leadership crisis that erupted after Ghosn's Nov 19 arrest in Japan last year and swift dismissal as Nissan chairman. After 14 years as Renault CEO and a decade as chairman, Ghosn formally resigned from both roles on the eve of the board meeting, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.
Ghosn's arrest and indictment for financial misconduct have strained the Renault-Nissan relationship, threatening the future of the industrial partnership he transformed into a global carmaking giant over two decades.
Ghosn has been charged with failing to disclose more than US$80 million (S$108.85 million) in additional compensation for 2010-18 that he had agreed to be paid later. Nissan director Greg Kelly and the Japanese company itself have also been indicted.
Both men deny the deferred pay was illegal or required disclosure, while not contesting the agreements' existence.
Ghosn has denied a separate breach of trust charge over personal investment losses he temporarily transferred to Nissan in 2008.
Mr Senard, 65, faces the immediate task of soothing relations with Nissan, which is 43.4 per cent-owned by Renault but the larger partner by sales.
Following Ghosn's arrest, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa had sought to weaken Renault's control and resisted its attempts to nominate new directors to the Japanese carmaker's board.
In a possible sign of detente yesterday, Nissan called an April shareholder meeting to appoint a Renault-nominated board member and formally terminate Ghosn and Kelly's directorships.