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Nissan China chief Jose Munoz resigns amid broadened Ghosn probe


(Reuters) - Motor Co Ltd's <7201.T> head of operations has resigned following reports that the Japanese automaker has broadened its investigation into ousted Carlos Ghosn's alleged financial misconduct.

had reported earlier on Friday that the Japanese automaker was looking into decisions made in the by Munoz who led Nissan's North American operations from 2016 to 2018.

He joined the automaker in 2004 in and led its ambitious expansion in after the global financial crisis. Since then, has succeeded in raising its market share in the

In a post on Friday, Munoz said, "I am proud to have played a role in achieving 74 percent growth in North America, gaining market dominance in Mexico, getting market share on the growth path, and helping the Renault-Nissan-Alliance become the highest group in the world."

Earlier this year, tapped Munoz to oversee its operations in where it plans to ramp up sales over the next few years. Since then, the world's largest auto market has been showing signs of a slowdown, prompting the automaker to cut local production plans in the coming months.

China is Nissan's second-largest market, accounting for roughly one-quarter of its annual global vehicle sales. Last year the company planned to boost sales to make biggest market in terms of vehicle sales by 2022.

Munoz, 53, who is also the automaker's Chief Performance Officer, has been with Nissan for 15 years. He was recently placed on a leave of absence due to the ongoing probe.

Munoz, who is widely seen within the industry as close to Ghosn, was a "person of interest" in the probe and it was not clear whether he would be accused of any wrongdoing.

"I look forward to continuing to assist Nissan in its investigations," Munoz said in the post.

Ghosn, once the most celebrated executives in the auto industry and the anchor of Nissan's alliance with France's SA , has been charged with under-reporting his income. On Friday, he was also charged with aggravated breach of trust, accused of shifting personal investment losses worth 1.85 billion yen ($17 million) to Nissan.

(Reporting by and in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 12 2019. 05:17 IST