Jose Munoz, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co. and chairman of Nissan North America Inc., speaks during a presentation at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Nissan's Munoz Takes Leave of Absence in Wake of Ghosn Arrest

(Bloomberg) -- Nissan Motor Co.’s chief performance officer is taking leave of absence to assist in “special tasks arising from recent events,” according to a company spokesman, who provided no further details. The move follows the November arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Jose Munoz is responsible for Nissan’s overall results and implementation of strategies, according to the company’s website. Munoz was a possible successor to Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa, the Wall Street Journal on Saturday cited people familiar as saying.

Munoz’s leave would “allow him to assist the company by concentrating on special tasks arising from recent events,” Nicholas Maxfield, a Nissan spokesman, said in an email on Saturday. Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19 for alleged financial crimes.

Nissan has also been indicted over under-reporting Ghosn’s income, while his former aide, Greg Kelly -- an ex-Nissan representative director -- is alleged to have helped him under-report his compensation from the carmaker by tens of millions of dollars. Both Ghosn and Kelly have denied the allegations through their lawyers.

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