The decision, two months after Ghosn’s November 19 arrest and swift dismissal as Nissan chairman, turns a page on his two decades at the helm of the partnership he transformed into a global carmaking giant, following Renault’s acquisition of a near-bankrupt Nissan in 1999.
Ghosn has been charged with failing to disclose more than $80 million in additional Nissan compensation for 2010-18 that he had arranged to be paid later. Nissan director Greg Kelly and the Japanese company itself have also been indicted.
Both men deny the deferred pay agreements were illegal or required disclosure. Ghosn has also denied a separate breach of trust charge over personal investment losses he temporarily transferred to Nissan in 2008. Nissan has said it takes the matter seriously and pledged to improve corporate governance.
Ghosn has now agreed to resign from Renault, the sources said – but only after the French government, its biggest shareholder, called for leadership change and his bail requests were rejected by the Japanese courts.
Senard, 65, faces the immediate task of soothing relations with Nissan, which is 43.4 per cent-owned by Renault and the junior partner in the alliance despite making more sales.
Since Ghosn’s arrest, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has sought to weaken Renault’s control and resisted its attempts to nominate new directors to the Japanese company’s board.
Nissan currently owns a 15 per cent non-voting stake in its French parent and 34 per cent in Mitsubishi Motors, a third major partner in their manufacturing alliance.