Surprise turnaround. The former boss Carlos Ghosn, who claims to Renault a retirement indemnity of 250,000 euros, withdrew from his proceedings Friday in summary proceedings before the industrial tribunal of Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine ) to file a claim on the merits, their lawyers said, confirming information from L'Express.
"Taking into account, in particular, the extension of time limits in the courts caused by the containment measures imposed by the health crisis, we have taken the decision to refer the action pending before the industrial tribunal of Boulogne to the merits", declares his defense. "Through this procedure, Carlos Ghosn reaffirms his will to assert his rights," they add.
No judgment "before two years"
The industrial tribunal "took note today of the withdrawal of Carlos Ghosn", confirms Me Yasmine Tarasewicz, lawyer for Renault. The reference to the merits will lead to a considerable lengthening of the procedure, she underlined. "Before two years, Mr. Ghosn will not have a judgment on the issue that concerns him, namely his retirement compensation," she said.
The lawyers of Carlos Ghosn had seized the industrial tribunal "urgently" on December 20. But, to everyone's surprise, at the February 21 hearing, they asked for a postponement to a later date, set for April 17. Due to the health crisis, this hearing was then postponed to May 29.
Carlos Ghosn, a refugee in Lebanon after having escaped in an incredible way from Japan where he is prosecuted for various embezzlement, claims to Renault a retirement indemnity of 250,000 euros. After being forced to leave his post as CEO of Renault on January 23, 2019, when he was imprisoned in Japan, the 65-year-old former manager had taken steps to liquidate his retirement rights in spring 2019.
Has his contract been broken or suspended?
The automaker considers that Carlos Ghosn is not entitled to this compensation since he had not been employed by the company for years, because of the status of corporate officer which he enjoyed since his appointment as CEO in 2005 .
Defenders of Renault believe that the employment contract has been broken, while those of the manager claim that it was only suspended. The referral to the industrial tribunal by a boss who was remunerated nearly 15 million euros per year for his various functions within the Franco-Japanese Renault-Nissan alliance, aroused indignant reactions in France.
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The affair comes at a time when the diamond group is going through a serious crisis that prompted it to announce the loss of 15,000 jobs worldwide, including 4,600 in France, on Friday.