Will Nissan See Exodus Of Non-Japanese Executives, Wonder Industry Analysts

There can an exodus of foreign executives working in the Japanese auto maker Nissan linked to the former and now jailed boss o f the company Carlos Ghosn, warn industry analysts following the sudden resignation of Jose Munoz who is amongst the highest-ranking foreign executives working with the company. This, they say, can be a cause of serious concern for the Japanese company.

Following Nissan putting Munoz on leave from his regular job as chief performance officer, he resigned from the company even though he was being touted to be the most likely successor to Ghosn as the CEO. The media quoted an industry executive who has close ties to Nissan’s board of directors, saying that Munoz was asked by Nissan to be a part of growing internal investigation to seek out incidents of financial and other ethical irregularities.

There are questions being raised by many within the industry and even by soime within Nissan about whether it was more about politics driving the arrest of Ghosn and his unusually long detention.

Media also quoted sources saying that Nissan is conducting the internal investigations in order to take away internal power from Renault – the French car maker that has a significant stake in the Japanese firm and was instrumental in saving from the brink of bankruptcy in 1999. A 43.4 per cent stake in its Japanese alliance partner is held by Renault. .

In one of the news reports, the media quoted a former Nissan executive who worked in Japan saying that the beginning of “a bloodbath” for Nissan has been initiated by the resignation of Spanish-born Munoz. He also said that the company was conducted a witch hunt for the possible allies of Ghosn still remaining in the company albeit under a thin veil.

Ghosn was held completely responsible for the incidents for which he is in detention currently by Nissan even though he was previously considered to be the savior in Japan for having engineered the bail out of the Japanese company from near bankruptcy. The company also said in a statement that “Nissan does not in any way tolerate such misconduct,” and this is what the company is trying to throw out with the current internal investigations.

The company also said “Jose Munoz has elected to resign from Nissan Motor Company, effective immediately” while commenting on the surprise exit of the executive.

Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo on November 19 last year and has been under detention since on charges of financial misconduct. Charges against Ghosn’s American colleague Greg Kelly have also been filed by Japanese prosecutors.

“I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” Ghosn told the court in his first public appearance since his arrest.

Munoz had been serving as the chief performance officer at Nissan since 2016 and later became a confidant of Ghosn and was later promoted to become the head of North American operations.

“He had a tough assignment but drove as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen,” said a current executive who reported to Munoz in the US according to a report.

(Adapted from CNBC.com)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s