First challenge for Renault's new chiefs: Ghosn's payout

phys.org | 1/27/2019 | Staff
Micaella (Posted by) Level 3
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Carlos Ghosn may no longer be in the driver's seat at Renault, but he will remain at the centre of vigorous negotiations in the coming weeks over severance pay potentially worth tens of millions of euros.

The French government, which owns 15 percent of the carmaker and 22 percent of voting rights, has already warned it doesn't intend to let the former CEO walk away with the kind of lavish payouts that he is accustomed to.

Shareholder - Exit - Conditions - Board - Finance

"I can tell you we will be extremely vigilant, as the largest shareholder, over the exit conditions that will be set by the board," Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told AFP at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland this week.

Ghosn had already raised hackles in France as one of its highest-paid business chiefs, and a huge payout for an executive sitting in a Tokyo jail wouldn't go down well amid the "yellow vest" protests over declining living standards.

Executive - November - Charges - Tens - Millions

The 64-year-old Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese executive was arrested in November on charges of under-reporting tens of millions of dollars in income over eight years as head of Renault's alliance partner Nissan.

He has denied that and other financial misconduct claims and his trial may still be months away.

Resignation - Renault - Week - Chairman - Nissan

He tendered his resignation at Renault this week, having already been sacked as chairman of Nissan and the third carmaker in the alliance, Mitsubishi.

But his eventual payout was not discussed by Renault directors when they met Thursday to name his replacements, Thierry Bollore as chief executive and Jean-Dominique Senard as board chairman.

Payout - Resignation - Loic - Dessaint - Proxinvest

"If his payout is being discussed later, it's because his resignation was immediate and not negotiated," said Loic Dessaint of the Proxinvest shareholder advisory group.

"That's rare," Dessaint said, suggesting that by doing so, Ghosn was hoping to benefit immediately from any pre-discussed "golden handshake".

Renault - Hand

"But Renault also has a strong hand to play, because it...
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