Renault to scrap Ghosn's 30 million euro golden parachute

Roman Schwartz
February 15, 2019

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had asked the government's lead board representative at Renault to "ensure that Mr Ghosn's compensation is cut as much as possible", a ministry official said on Wednesday.

Otsuru previously led the special prosecutors' office that is now handling Ghosn's case.

The move came on the same day that the former Nissan and Renault boss reshuffled his legal team in Japan, where he remains held in a Tokyo jail.

Ghosn, arrested and detained in Tokyo since November 19, has been indicted in Japan on charges of under-reporting his salary at Nissan over 2010-2018. The company also owns a stake in the Japanese firm Nissan, which ousted Ghosn after he was arrested in November for allegedly failing to disclose more than $80 million (€70 million) from 2010-18 in compensation that he had arranged to be paid later.

The surprise shake-up came on the eve of an expected first meeting between the Tokyo District Court, prosecutors, and defense lawyers to discuss the outlines of Ghosn's eventual trial.

Additionally, Renault also plans to withhold stock-based pay (amounting to millions from 2015 to 2018) from Ghosn that was dependent on his continued presence in the company.

Ghosn faces trial in Japan after a Nissan internal probe uncovered evidence of misconduct including failure to declare more than $80m in deferred income - straining relations with 43.4%-owner Renault.

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Shareholder advisory group Proxinvest estimates he could be eligible for an annual pension payout of 765,000 euros a year.

Renault said in a statement that its board unanimously made a decision to waive Ghosn's "non-compete commitment and, consequently, not to pay the corresponding compensation equal to two years fixed and variable compensation".

Net income came in at €3.3 billion, down sharply from the €5.31 billion recorded in 2017, partly reflecting the exceptional year-earlier gain from Nissan.

Since his arrest, Ghosn has resigned as chairman of Renault and been sacked as chief of Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, the three-way alliance he once captained.

He told AFP that the allegations against him and his arrest were "a story of betrayal", insisting "there is not one yen that I have received that was not reported".

Hironaka is a veteran and celebrated defence lawyer and was involved in the successful defence in 2012 of influential politician Ichiro Ozawa, a shrewd election strategist accused of playing a role in misreporting political funds.

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