Nissan Top Executive Jose Munoz Resigns


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( – A top Nissan Motor Co. executive and ally of Carlos Ghosn resigned, the company said, the first shake-up at the Japanese auto maker since the arrest of the former chairman.

Jose Munoz, who went on a leave of absence a week ago, oversaw business strategy for Nissan’s seven regional and business units and had direct oversight of the company’s China operations.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. also announced that Manabu Sakane, formerly program director, has been appointed to the position of vice president within the Office of the CEO, effective January 10. He is in charge of special tasks for improving governance.

Nissan Motor Co. noted that its former Representative Director and Chairman Carlos Ghosn was indicted for aggravated breach of trust under Japan’s Companies Act. Prior to the charge being laid, Nissan filed a criminal complaint based on the same violation against Ghosn with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office.

Nissan filed the criminal complaint on the basis of Ghosn’s misuse of a significant amount of the company’s funds. Nissan does not in any way tolerate such misconduct and calls for strict penalties. Nissan is continuing its own internal investigation into potential illegal expenditure of its funds.

Ghosn and former Representative Director Greg Kelly were indicted for violating the Japan Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, namely making false disclosures in annual securities reports. Nissan, as a legal entity, was also indicted for the same violation.

Nissan said it will continue its efforts to strengthen its governance and compliance, including making accurate disclosures of corporate information. The efforts will be made in consideration of the discussions and recommendations of the company’s recently established Special Committee for Improving Governance.

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