Ex-Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn Sues Automaker, Seeks More Than $1 Billion
He’s accusing the company of defamation and other crimes.
Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is suing his past employer. He filed a lawsuit in Lebanon seeking more than $1 billion, accusing Nissan, two other companies, and 12 individuals of defamation, fabricating evidence, and more. Ghosn is seeking $558 million in lost compensation and costs and $500 million in punitive damages.
Japanese authorities arrested Ghosn in late 2018, accusing him of underreporting his compensation and charging him with financial misconduct. He has denied the charges. Ghosn escaped house arrest in late 2019, fleeing the country in a box.
He landed in Lebanon, a country that does not extradite its citizens. Ghosn still has pending criminal charges in Japan, according to Automotive News. Nissan has also filed a lawsuit for monetary damages against him.
In 1996, Renault hired Ghosn to restructure the French automaker. Three years later, Renault and Nissan formed a partnership to share and reduce costs. Ghosn became Nissan’s chief operating officer in 1999, tasked with turning around the struggling company. He would become Nissan’s CEO in 2001, eventually leading both automakers. Mitsubishi joined the alliance in 2017.
While Ghosn has been gone from Nissan for several years, he’s still causing headaches for the company. In 2022, the Japanese Financial Services Agency levied a 200-million yen fine ($1.4 million at today’s exchange rates) against the company for Ghosn’s alleged improprieties. Nissan reported the misconduct in 2019. His new lawsuit will likely draw out any legal proceedings between him and Nissan for years to come.
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The former auto executive and now fugitive has not been shy in criticizing his former employer since his escape. He called Renault-Nissan “small and fragile” last year and lamented in 2021 that the company’s electrification strategy lacked vision.
Nissan updated its roadmap in early 2023, saying it wanted no fewer than 27 new electrified models and 19 new EVs by 2030. The company previously wanted 15 BEVs and 23 with electrification. The company’s new plan aims for up to 98 percent of the company’s sales to be electrified in Europe by 2026 and 40 percent in the US by the end of the decade.
Source: Automotive News