Nissan report denounces corporate culture that has “deified” Carlos Ghosn

In a meteoric attack on the former auto executive, a 34 page report released by the Japanese automaker’s governance committee on Wednesday, described an environment in which Ghosn cultivated loyalists and ensured that his wishes were rarely challenged.

In its report, Nissan’s newly formed governance committee blamed Ghosn and Kelly’s poor oversight for the alleged criminal misconduct. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Ghosn would end challenges to his authority by “transferring or firing people under its unfair and opaque personnel policy,” the committee alleges.

There was also a failure of the checks and balances on Ghosn’s power, because he had installed Kelly and “a few people in particular” in key Nissan departments, including the company’s legal division and the internal audit office, according to the report.

The accounting department was more independent. But even when employees detected problems there, they couldn’t follow up because of the influence Ghosn, Kelly and others had over other departments, the committee alleges.

Nissan’s special committee for improving governance was formed after Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo in November. The committee’s objectives, according to the report, “do not include the attribution of criminal or other liability to an individual or a company.”

A spokesperson for Ghosn rejected the committee’s findings and questioned the impartiality of the report.

“Like other allegations made since November, those found in this so-called independent ‘report’ will be revealed for what they are: part of an unfounded smear campaign against Carlos Ghosn,” the spokesperson said. in a press release.

“Ghosn acted at all times with the full authority of the board of directors and its shareholders, and his overarching goal was to create shareholder value at Nissan.”

Ghosn’s fall shocked the international auto industry, created tensions between Nissan and Renault, and raised questions about the Japanese criminal justice system.

Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing. If found guilty, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

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