VIDEO – The parallel Philippe Lagayette-Thierry Bolloré temporarily takes over the group's leadership on the day after the capture of Carlos Ghosn in Japan.
The next day. Following the surprise of Carlos Ghosn's devastating arrest in Japan, the time was on Tuesday to mobilize in all areas of power directly or indirectly concerned.
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At Renault, we had to prepare for the rush in a lead atmosphere. Carlos Gosn, detained by the Japanese authorities, is not accessible. The Minister of Economy shot on Tuesday morning, in France Info, the immediate consequences of this strange situation. "Carlos Ghosn is no longer in a position to lead the team," explained Bruno Le Maire, calling for the creation of temporary government. The Renault board met on Tuesday night and decided to put in place temporary governance and ensure the continuity of its operations. Philippe Lagayette, head of the team, took over the chairmanship of the board, while Thierry Bolloré, Carlos Ghosn's second number and deputy general manager from February 2018, is promoted as a senior executive and appointed as CEO. "He will hold the executive management of the group, thus having the same powers as Mr Ghosn" suggests the board.
The mayor: "Carlos Ghosn is no longer able to lead the team [Renault-Nissan]"- Watch at Figaro Live
A temporary call to last?
These provisions are temporary. Nothing will be decided definitively before Carlos Ghosn's "reappearance" and details of current investigations. "Mr Ghosn, temporarily prevented, remains President and CEO," the board said on Tuesday. "I do not have to be in doubt, I do not need to be suspicious. I have to have proof before I make a decision, "said Bruno Le Maire, while Thierry Bolloré, in an internal message, said the management's" full support "to the CEO of the team.
But everyone already feels this: no matter what the story of Japan is, Renault will definitely have to learn to live without Carlos Ghosn. Behind the scenes, effective succession is already in mind if it is not at the table. The educated duo Lagayette-Bolloré, who was stationed in an emergency on Tuesday, will eventually be confirmed? From similar sources, some pieces explored in the spring when the council examined Carlos Ghosn's succession plans became relevant again. The name of the French Didier Leroy, Toyota's current number two, is persistently induced.
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At Nissan, the next step will be Thursday. The board of the Japanese carmaker will end Carlos Ghosn's exit from his presidency. This Mitsubishi must do the same. A logical consequence of the sudden fall of the French industrialist by Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa on Monday, who denounces the practices attributed to Carlos Ghosn. "Saikawa had no choice but to risk a challenge for Nissan's reputation," says an industry expert. Pressure is still deep on Tuesday: Japanese surveys have, according to Reuters, expanded to Renault-Nissan BV, the Alliance's Dutch coordination structure.
The future of the Alliance between Renault-Nissan suddenly destroyed with the fall of Carlos Ghosn. Between the two partners, the temperature dropped to several degrees and the confidence changed. Everyone, however, declares their desire to maintain the stability of the Alliance. Bruno Le Maire and his Japanese counterpart Hiroshige Seko – who will be married in Paris on Thursday – issued a joint statement after a telephone conversation, confirming "the significant support of French and Japanese governments in the alliance between Renault and Nissan."
Still, the box is very heavy between the two groups, both countries. In Japan, the small circle of the foreign business community on Tuesday acknowledged its confidence, ranging from disregard for the events against Carlos Ghosn, the shock created by the circumstances of his arrest by the Tokyo Prosecutor's Special Branch, and the assumption of the "hit stroke". The prosecutor's office is based on a 4 billion-yen tax yen on the Japanese stock market authorities for five years, which does not seem to justify arrest on its own. Suspicion of abuse of social interest has been promoted at this stage only by Nissan and is not referred to as Carlos Ghosn's arrest. According to the Japanese press, it is mainly the purchase of housing in Rio de Janeiro, Beirut, Paris and Amsterdam, to the detriment of Nissan.
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The entrepreneur's arrest takes place in a specific context: the recent introduction of a US-style "speech negotiating system" in which complainants cooperate with the courts to obtain penalty reductions. The second case, subject to this regime, seems to be Carlos Ghosn's perfect example. "He does not aim because he is a stranger, but his expensive way of life makes him someone who does not attract sympathy," said lawyer Taku Nomiya. "His detention is a pity," says Stephen Givens, one of the most influential and independent American business lawyers in Japan. "How can Nissan be deceived by the wage statements of her own leader? How is it possible?