4 Questions About The Arrest, Firing Of Nissan's Chairman

Automotive practice group leader Aaron Jacoby spoke with Law 360 about how Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s abrupt dismissal of Chairman Carlos Ghosn over alleged financial misdeeds has sparked a host of questions about the downfall of a prominent automotive industry leader and what’s next for the companies he led.

Regarding the timing of Ghosn’s arrest, given that he is being held while they are still completing their investigation, Aaron said, “The immediate question is: How and why did this happen right now, and why was it necessary to arrest Ghosn after landing on his corporate jet? Why not question him first as part of the investigation? One can only guess at the answer, but it must be true that there are powerful interests that wanted him out quickly, well before the conclusion of any investigation.”

Regarding ongoing analysis at the companies, especially on checks and balances, Aaron said, “If Nissan-Renault discover vagaries in their reporting and disclosure rules for executives as a result of this investigation, then that will need to be tightened. I’m sure that such rules are being examined internally.” He went on to say about the Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault alliance, “That alliance has proven itself worthy of protection, and I can’t imagine that this incident with Ghosn will cause the alliance to end. He was certainly at the helm, but the alliance is no longer based on the personality of one person.”

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