Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi Motors form new board

From left to right Renault CEO Thierry Bollore Renault Chairman Jean Dominique Senard Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa and Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko at Nissan's headquarters on Tuesday

Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi Motors form new board

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have promised "a new start" to their alliance as they attempt to move on from the arrest and dismissal of prior chief Carlos Ghosn.

It added that the new board will "drive the operational co-operation between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors and look for new ways to generate value for its respective shareholders and employees" and promised to accelerate operational activities "through key focus on deliveries of strategic common projects" that will reported to the board for "quick decision making".

Ghosn was released from a Tokyo detention center last week after more than 100 days in custody, following an unusual court decision allowing him to post bail of one billion yen ($9 million).

The prosecutors subsequently arrested him again on two additional counts of financial misconduct, including for allegedly understating his income on another occasion and an alleged incident of aggravated breach of trust involving the transfer of private investment losses to Nissan during the global financial crisis in 2008. He says he is innocent.

Under the terms of his release, the ousted Nissan chief is forbidden from contacting people who could be involved in his case, including Nissan executives likely to attend board meetings, such as CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

"Nissan's strong opposition to Ghosn's attendance is very regrettable", Hironaka said outside his law office. At the moment, as he awaits trial, he is barred from leaving the country.

Nissan has not yet named a new chairman to replace Ghosn.

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Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan, which makes the March subcompact, Leaf electric vehicle and Infiniti luxury models.

Nissan holds a 15 percent, non-voting stake in Renault, whose top shareholder is the French government.

Saikawa said they agreed that the custom of the Renault chairman assuming the Nissan chairmanship will not apply to Senard, highlighting this change as another example of Nissan's independence being respected.

Doubts over the balance of power between Renault and Nissan had been growing after Ghosn's departure.

As boss of Renault, he took what many observers at the time thought was a gamble by saving Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy and tying it to the French firm.

Although he was nearly immediately fired as the head of the company when the allegations surfaced, he is still a board member until April 8, when an extraordinary meeting of shareholders is likely to remove him.

"It is unfortunate that the meritless and unsubstantiated accusations against him have blocked his ideas and perspective from being deployed in service of the company he served for the past 20 years".

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