Former Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is suing his past employer. He filed a lawsuit in Lebanon seeking more than $1 billion, accusing Nissan, two other companies, and 12 individuals of defamation, fabricating evidence, and more. Ghosn is seeking $558 million in lost compensation and costs and $500 million in punitive damages.
Japanese authorities arrested Ghosn in late 2018, accusing him of underreporting his compensation and charging him with financial misconduct. He has denied the charges. Ghosn escaped house arrest in late 2019, fleeing the country in a box.
He landed in Lebanon, a country that does not extradite its citizens. Ghosn still has pending criminal charges in Japan, according to Automotive News. Nissan has also filed a lawsuit for monetary damages against him.
In 1996, Renault hired Ghosn to restructure the French automaker. Three years later, Renault and Nissan formed a partnership to share and reduce costs. Ghosn became Nissan’s chief operating officer in 1999, tasked with turning around the struggling company. He would become Nissan’s CEO in 2001, eventually leading both automakers. Mitsubishi joined the alliance in 2017.
While Ghosn has been gone from Nissan for several years, he’s still causing headaches for the company. In 2022, the Japanese Financial Services Agency levied a 200-million yen fine ($1.4 million at today’s exchange rates) against the company for Ghosn’s alleged improprieties. Nissan reported the misconduct in 2019. His new lawsuit will likely draw out any legal proceedings between him and Nissan for years to come.