Nissan executive Munoz resigns after Ghosn’s arrest

  • The Japanese carmaker’s chief performance officer is the first high-profile departure at the firm publicly acknowledged as related to the arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 January, 2019, 10:34pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 January, 2019, 10:34pm

Nissan Chief Performance Officer Jose Munoz, who took a leave of absence a week ago, is leaving, the first high-profile departure at the Japanese carmaker publicly acknowledged as related to the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Munoz on Saturday said in a statement on LinkedIn he made the decision after serious thinking because the company was “involved in matters that have and will continue to divert its focus”, referring to Ghosn’s case.

Munoz is among several executives media speculated might succeed Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades.

Nissan confirmed the resignation, effective immediately.

There have been other recent departures from Nissan, but Nissan has denied they were related to Ghosn’s case.

A statement by Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn, in his own defence against charges of breach of trust in Tokyo court

Munoz, a Spaniard who oversaw Nissan’s global strategies, worked for Nissan for 14 years.

“I love the company, my talented colleagues and Nissan’s industry-leading dealers,” he said.

Ghosn, arrested November 19, has been charged with breach of trust and falsifying financial reports and remains detained in Tokyo. He rebutted each allegation and asserted his innocence in a Tokyo court earlier this week, his first public appearance since his arrest.

The court rejected a request by prosecutors late Friday that Ghosn not be allowed to receive visitors, paving the way for his family to see him for the first time since his arrest. Until now, Ghosn could only see prosecutors, embassy officials and his lawyers.

In Japan, suspects are routinely held for months until their trials start. No trial date has been set for Ghosn.