Renault keeps Ghosn as chief executive and chairman

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Ghosn was indicted this week on charges of underreporting his executive compensation at Nissan.

Renault's board did not consider replacing Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn when it met on Thursday, interim chairman Philippe Lagayette said in a statement issued by the carmaker.

The Renault directors' preliminary conclusion is that the auto boss's compensation was in "compliance with applicable law" as well as with the recommendations of the French corporate governance code.

Defence arguments advanced by Ghosn's lawyers and supporters have not contested the plans' existence. But the French carmaker has asked its lawyers to update the board again "promptly" after further assessing the information provided by Nissan.

Renault advised Nissan to brief its lawyers instead, which led to a meeting between the Japanese firm's officials and Renault's legal teams early this week in Paris, the person said.

While Nissan fired Ghosn days after his November 19 arrest, Renault has resisted pressure to replace him permanently.

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The prosecutors also served him a fresh warrant alleging that he did the same for his income over the past three years, allowing authorities to extend his detention. He stands accused of under-reporting his income by around £34 million (Rs 304 crore) over five years, and misusing Nissan company assets.

Ghosn, a towering figure in the global auto industry who had nonetheless prompted grumblings over a perceived lavish lifestyle, has reportedly told embassy visitors he is being treated well, but has complained of the cold in his cell and of the rice-based food.

DAMAGED by the loss of Carlos Ghosn as its chairman and the residual backlash by investors, Nissan this week took another hit with about 150,000 vehicles recalled for allegedly inadequate testing of new-vehicle braking systems.

In addition to under-reporting his salary, Ghosn is suspected of deferring part of his compensation to avoid criticism from staff and shareholders that his salary was too generous. While nearly 60 percent bigger by sales, it remains the junior partner in their shareholding hierarchy with a smaller reciprocal 15 percent non-voting stake in the French firm.

Directors had also clashed with Renault managers over their right to hire independent board counsel with access to Nissan's findings, two other people said.