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PARIS (Reuters) – Renault’s (RENA.PA) board will meet on Thursday to replace Chairman and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn, in a move that could help ease tensions with alliance partner Nissan following Ghosn’s arrest in Japan for alleged financial misconduct.
FILE PHOTO: Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, reacts during a news conference in Paris, France, September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo
The meeting will start at 0900 GMT and consider the proposed appointment of outgoing Michelin (MICP.PA) boss Jean-Dominique Senard as chairman and the promotion of Ghosn’s deputy Thierry Bollore to CEO, three sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.
The French carmaker has confirmed an emergency board meeting is planned for Thursday, but declined to comment on its agenda.
The decision, two months after Ghosn’s Nov. 19 arrest and swift dismissal as Nissan (7201.T) chairman, turns a page on his two decades at the helm of the partnership he transformed into a global carmaking giant, following Renault’s acquisition of a near-bankrupt Nissan in 1999.
Ghosn has been charged with failing to disclose more than $ 80 million in additional Nissan compensation for 2010-18 that he had arranged to be paid later. Nissan director Greg Kelly and the Japanese company itself have also been indicted.
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. Nissan has said it takes the matter seriously and pledged to improve corporate governance.
Ghosn has now agreed to resign from Renault, the sources said – but only after the French government, its biggest shareholder, called for leadership change and his bail requests were rejected by the Japanese courts.
As of late Tuesday, however, no formal resignation had been received, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.
Senard, 65, faces the immediate task of soothing relations with Nissan, which is 43.4 percent-owned by Renault and the junior partner in the alliance despite making more sales.
Since Ghosn’s arrest, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has sought to weaken Renault’s control and resisted its attempts to nominate new directors to the Japanese company’s board.
Nissan currently owns a 15 percent non-voting stake in its French parent and 34 percent in Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T), a third major partner in their manufacturing alliance.
Editing by Mark Potter and Elaine Hardcastle
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s O2 said it will allow customers to choose how much they pay upfront for a smartphone and how they spread the payments of the balance, targeting subscribers who want more control over their mobile contracts.
A man walks past an O2 phone store in Manchester, Britain March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo
The operator, owned by Spain Telefonica (TEF.MC), said customers would be able to pay for their new devices in monthly increments for any period between three and 36 months, all with no interest charged, as well as choosing an airtime plan.
Chief Executive Mark Evans said on Wednesday: “Our custom plans put power back in the hands of the consumers who don’t want to be tied down by rigid contracts especially at a time when certainty and transparency are at a premium in today’s economic environment.”
O2, the second largest British operator after BT (BT.L), said the “Custom Plans” built on the tariffs it introduced in 2013 that separate the cost of airtime and the cost of paying for the phone, and the change it made last year that allows customers to increase or decrease their airtime each month depending on their data needs.
Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by David Evans