In a statement, Nissan said it had been conducting a probe into Ghosn for several months after receiving a whistleblower report and had uncovered misconduct going back several years.
"The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn's compensation," the statement said. "Also, in regards to Ghosn, numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets, and Kelly's deep involvement has also been confirmed."
The company said it had provided information to Japanese prosecutors and would propose to the board of directors that it "promptly remove Ghosn from his positions" along with Kelly.
Renault shares plunged 12 percent in late morning trading in Paris on the shock news, which emerged after the end of the Tokyo session. "If he is arrested, it's going to rock the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance as he is the keystone of the alliance," said Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW, a Tokyo-based research and consulting firm.
"He is the man of charisma for the alliance. It is likely to have a negative impact on its brand image," he told AFP.
Nicknamed Le Cost Killer, Brazil-born Ghosn, 64, is known for overhauling Renault and Nissan starting in the nineties. Renault came to the rescue of the then-ailing Japanese automaker in 1999 and parachuted in Ghosn, who set about slashing costs and jobs in a huge corporate overhaul.
In 2016, Ghosn also took charge at troubled Mitsubishi after Nissan threw it a lifeline, buying a one-third stake for about $2.2 billion as it wrestled with a mileage-cheating scandal that hammered sales.
Ghosn has a high profile in Japan and is known as a major advocate of the country's auto sector. He has not yet commented on the allegations.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)