Even as Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn sits in a Japanese jail, the board of directors for Renault has decided to allow him to keep his position — as well as his board seat — until the results of the Japanese investigation have been concluded, according to a report by Reuters on Tuesday.
This goes against the decisions that the other two member-companies of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance made to have him ousted and could cause serious problems down the road if the three companies don't come to an agreement.
While Ghosn is, shall we say, indisposed, the board of Renault named his second-in-command, Thierry Bollore as deputy CEO. Bollore is a long-time industry veteran who had done stints at both Michelin and Faurecia before coming to Renault. Ghosn's position as board chair for Renault will be temporarily occupied by the lead independent director, Phillipe Lagayette. Lagayette is the CEO of the French arm of JP Morgan Chase and serves as the President of Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques.
"Mr. Ghosn, temporarily incapacitated, remains Chairman and Chief Executive Officer," Renault said in a statement. "During this period, the board will meet on a regular basis under the chairmanship of the lead independent director."
Before his arrest, Ghosn was allegedly planning on merging Nissan and Renault. Currently, Renault owns 40 percent of the Japanese automaker, while Nissan holds 15 percent of Renault. The French government hasn't yet weighed in on the situation, but given that it owns 15 percent of Renault, it seems likely that it will have a say in what happens if Ghosn comes home.