In Removing Carlos Ghosn, Renault Opts Not to Name the Jailed Executive

(Bloomberg) -- Renault SA announced its new leadership team Thursday after accepting the resignation of Carlos Ghosn, architect of the company’s two-decade alliance with Nissan Motor Co. There was one glaring omission from the press release: the name of the automotive titan.

“The board has taken note of the resignation of its current chairman and chief executive officer,” France’s largest carmaker said after a meeting of directors. “The board praised the alliance’s track record, which has enabled it to become the world’s leading automobile manufacturer.”

That Ghosn’s name was missing highlights the awkwardness of the situation for Renault. The carmaker has been largely kept in the dark about the Japanese allegations of financial misconduct against its former chief, who has been in a Tokyo jail since Nov. 19. It also underscores tensions within the Franco-Japanese partnership. While Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which joined the alliance in 2016, swiftly deposed Ghosn, France has held onto the executive until Thursday.

Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard, 65, was appointed chairman, according to the statement. He’ll be given full responsibility for managing the alliance with the partners. Thierry Bollore, 55, was named CEO, a role he has held on an interim basis since after Ghosn’s arrest.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the first task of the new management team “is to consolidate the alliance between Renault and Nissan."

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.