Nissan has confirmed Carlos Ghosn has been removed by the board as company chairman. Ghosn and his co-accused, Greg Kelly, have also been removed as representative directors.
We understand, however, both men remain on the company's board as directors, as they can only be forcibly removed at a shareholder meeting.
According to Automotive News, under the Japanese system of corporate governance, only representative directors can legally speak for the company when signing contracts and deals.
With today's decision by the board, the only remaining representative director at Nissan is CEO Hiroto Saikawa.
Above: Greg Kelly. Top: Carlos Ghosn.
Interestingly, the remaining board members voted unanimously. There was speculation about whether the independent and Renault-appointed directors would follow the recommendation set by Saikawa, suggesting some would stand by Ghosn.
Nissan currently has a nine-member board. It features three long-term Nissan employees (Hiroto Saikawa, Hideyuki Sakamoto, and Toshiyuki Shiga), two Renault appointees (Jean-Baptiste Duzan and Bernard Rey), and two independent directors (Keiko Ihara and Masakazu Toyoda).
The board has also agreed to set up a special committee to "take advice from an independent third party regarding the governance management system and better governance of director compensation", as well as a committee to propose a new chairman.
Both committees will be lead by Masakazu Toyoda, Keiko Ihara and Jean-Baptiste Duzan.
Earlier this week, Saikawa accused Ghosn and Kelly of masterminding a scheme to vastly understate Ghosn's pay, as well as misusing company funds and expense accounts.
Both men are currently being held in detention as authorities investigate the allegations.