The board of directors of the diamond brand, meeting Wednesday, February 13 to approve the annual accounts, waived the payment of several lines of remuneration of the former CEO.
This is a consequence of the ongoing legal proceedings in Japan against former Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. The board of directors of the diamond brand, meeting Wednesday, February 13, has " decided unanimously (…) to waive the benefit of the non-compete commitment made by Mr Ghosn and, consequently, not to pay him the corresponding compensation equal to two years of fixed and variable remuneration ".
The text says nothing but the clause, which prohibits Carlos Ghosn to work for a competitor for two years, represents about 4 million euros, according to estimates by Proxinvest, an investor advisory firm. The board also approved the group's 2018 results, released Thursday (February 14th), which were expected to be at least as good as those of 2017.
Message of firmness of the State
The directors of the group have also decided " unanimously " that Carlos Ghosn will lose his rights "To the definitive acquisition" shares awarded between 2015 and 2018 as CEO. Reason relied on: "Condition of presence within Renault (…) is not fulfilled". These actions include "Variable compensation for the years 2014 to 2017" as well as "Performance share plans for the years 2015 to 2018". In total, approximately 450,000 shares are involved. Here again, Renault does not communicate any amount. At current price (about 57 €), this would represent nearly 26 million euros.
Renault questions the "royal" wedding of Carlos Ghosn in Versailles
Before the meeting of the Board of Directors, the French State, the largest shareholder of Renault with 15% of the capital and 22% of the voting rights, would have expressed a message of firmness, wishing to pay the former leader only the minimum of what he can legally claim. Against the backdrop of the crisis of yellow vests, any scandal over largess of remuneration would be particularly unwelcome.
All is not settled
The management of the release of Carlos Ghosn is not over yet. First, the Board will have to decide on its remuneration for the 2018 financial year on March 15, 2019. And the former CEO, who will turn 65 in March, could claim his pension rights – at least 765,000 € per year according to Proxinvest.
Another matter of uncertainty: could Carlos Ghosn decide to attack the decision of the board of directors, on the grounds that he is still director of Renault, even if he resigned from his position as CEO? While waiting to know his position, the former strongman of the Renault-Nissan Alliance announced Wednesday that he was changing his defense team in Japan.