Nissan Motor Co is considering claiming damages against ousted boss Carlos Ghosn over alleged financial misconduct, the automaker's chief executive told shareholders on Monday, adding the scandal would not be fixed overnight.
Hiroto Saikawa made the comments at an extraordinary shareholders' meeting in Tokyo, where Ghosn was expected to be voted out as a director. Ghosn, who famously rescued Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy two decades ago and forged a partnership with France's Renault that has become one of the world's biggest carmaking alliances, was arrested again by Tokyo prosecutors last week on suspicion he tried to enrich himself to the tune of $5 million at the company's expense.
Ghosn has denied the charges, and said he is the victim of a boardroom coup. Facing shareholders for the first time since the scandal erupted in November, Saikawa said Nissan would discuss the possibility of claiming damages against Ghosn. He also said that stabilising the company would take time.
"This is not an issue we can fix overnight. We need to fulfil the task (of improving governance) and prepare the company for our next steps, and then pass the leadership baton," he told shareholders. "At that point I would like to consult with you about my next move." Saikawa started the meeting by apologising for the inconvenience the scandal had caused, which was followed by a deep bow by him and a panel of Nissan executives and directors.
(With inputs from agencies.)