Embattled Renault boss Carlos Ghosn has resigned, France‘s economy minister has said in the face of a board meeting at which the French carmaker is to appoint his successor.
A senior director from the firm “received last night the letter of resignation from Carlos Ghosn”, who remains imprisoned in Japan, French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the AFP news agency.
Ghosn, 64, is behind bars in Japan over charges of alleged financial misconduct at Renault’s partner – Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor.
The Renault board is to meet on Thursday at its headquarters near Paris and is tipped to name interim chief executive Thierry Bollore as the CEO and Jean-Dominique Senard, the head of tyre manufacturer Michelin, as the chairman.
Ghosn, who had held both roles, is expected to stay behind bars for several months after seeing a second bail request denied on Tuesday.
He faces three separate charges – two of under-reporting his income by tens of millions of dollars over eight years and another of seeking to shift personal investment losses onto Nissan.
Ghosn, along with his right-hand man and Nissan director Greg Kelly, was arrested on November 19 in Tokyo.
Prosecutors indicted Ghosn, Kelly and Nissan in December for failing to disclose more than $80m in additional compensation for 2010-18 that Ghosn had arranged to be paid later.
Both men deny the deferred pay agreements were illegal or required disclosure.
Ghosn has also denied a separate breach of trust charge over personal investment losses he temporarily transferred to Nissan in 2008.
A towering figure in the car industry, Ghosn is credited with turning around several major manufacturers. He led an alliance of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.