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Nissan Chairman Is Arrested
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Nissan’s chairman was arrested for financial misconduct, including under-reporting his income in securities fillings. Carlos Ghosn may have been engaging in improprieties for years.

 

The news came as a surprise to many. Ghosn is a popular business figure, credited with turning around Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi by forming an alliance and directing cost-cutting and layoffs. According to a Wall Street Journal article, the shock is felt particularly at Renault; a union leader described the reaction as “a feeling of stupefaction and a lot of anger.”

 

The French government has a 15% state in Renault, so President Emmanuel Macron also weighed in: “As a shareholder, the French state will remain extremely vigilant regarding the stability of the alliance.” At this point, officials are still trying to sort out the news and determine leadership going forward.

 

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa delivered a news statement, translated in English on Bloomberg. The company also issued this matter-of-fact statement.

 

Nissan image source. Ghosn image source.

 

 

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Discussion:

 

  • Why would a successful business executive engage in financial misconduct? What leadership character dimensions are lacking?
  • How does financial impropriety go on for years in a situation like this? Who should be accountable for the misconduct?
  • Assess Saikawa’s news statement. What works well to improve brand image, and what could be improved?

 

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