The French government has reportedly started the procedure of removing Carlos Ghosn from Renault, requesting a board meeting to discuss potential candidates for the automaker’s CEO position.
Being Renault’s biggest shareholder, the French government has so far supported the company in keeping Ghosn in office while he’s on trial for financial misconduct at Nissan.
Reuters reports that the government, which holds a 15-percent stake and two board seats in the company, has asked Renault to gather a nominations committee followed by a board meeting on January 20, in order to begin the process of finding who will replace Ghosn as CEO.
The move follows the new of Tokyo District Court denying Ghosn’s request for release on bail. Renault’s CEO is being accused of hiding his true compensation from Japanese authorities, failing to disclose close to $80 million in additional payments between 2010 and 2018. Nissan executive Greg Kelly, as well as Nissan themselves have also been charged with financial misconduct.
Thierry Bollore, who is currently acting as interim CEO at Renault, is considered one of the candidates for the position. Other potential candidates include Jean-Dominique Senard (Michelin’s CEO), Didier Leroy (Toyota exec) and one other person, according to inside sources.
French officials said that Ghosn should remain in his position as Renault Chairman and CEO, unless it became clear that he’ll be unable to return to his duties for much longer. With that said, the Tokyo District Court’s decision not to release Ghosn on bail is an “important development”, according to the French government.