Renault scraps €30m pay-out to Carlos Ghosn | Business News
Renault has scrapped €30m (£26m) in bonuses and severance pay to former boss Carlos Ghosn after he was forced out following allegations of misconduct at Nissan.
The French carmaker’s board took the decision – backed by the government, its biggest shareholder – as Mr Ghosn remains in detention in Japan.
It said it had agreed to withdraw €25.9m worth of deferred and performance share awards for 2014-18 as it was “subject to his presence within Renault”, a condition that was not met.
The board will also waive a “non-compete” clause worth another €4-5m equivalent to two years’ pay.
It added that a decision on Mr Ghosn’s 2018 pay package would be taken separately at a board meeting on 15 March.
Renault’s decision comes as the French government is under pressure from “yellow vest” street protests over low pay and inequality.
Finance minister Bruno Le Maire had asked the administration’s main board representative at the company to “ensure that Mr Ghosn’s compensation is cut as much as possible”, a ministry official told Reuters.
The announcement comes as it was revealed that two lawyers leading Mr Ghosn’s defence team in Japan had left their roles.
Mr Ghosn was arrested on financial misconduct charges in November and was shortly afterwards ousted as chairman of Nissan – which is in a global alliance with Renault.
He has since been charged along with Nissan and a fellow director with failing to disclose more than $80m in 2010-2018 compensation payments that he had arranged to be paid later.
Mr Ghosn denies that the deals were illegal or required disclosure.
Renault had continued to back Mr Ghosn as boss until he was forced to resign and chairman and chief executive last month.
Last week, the company passed evidence to prosecutors that it had paid part of his 2016 wedding costs – in the first case of suspected misconduct at Renault.
Mr Ghosn’s representatives have said he was unaware the €50,000 rental of a palace within the grounds of Versailles had been charged to the French company and that he now plans to repay it.