Nissan's performance director, José Muñoz, resigned from the company amid an expanded investigation into the alleged financial misconduct of former president Carlos Ghosn. Muñoz, 54, who also headed Nissan's Chinese business, had his hand at the helm of the company's North American operations.
Muñoz's sudden departure, which occurs a few days after the executive fired, points to the upheaval in the top ranks of the Japanese automaker, and one of them calls it a "purge."
News of the executive's departure broke on Friday night, and Nissan said the resignation was effective immediately. In an email to colleagues obtained by Automotive newsMuñoz said the decision came after "a period of serious reflection," adding: "Unfortunately, Nissan is currently involved in issues that have and will continue to divert its focus, as I have repeatedly made clear and recently to the company, I hope to continue helping Nissan in their investigations. "
While Ghosn languishes in a Tokyo jail, he faces three accusations and awaits trial, according to a Nissan expert. Automotive news of a "purge" of executives of the Ghosn era. Senior Vice President Arun Bajaj has also embarked on a leave of absence.
The moment of Muñoz's departure is enough to attract attention. Just hours before the news of his resignation, Reuters Nissan's investigation into financial irregularities had expanded to other countries, with Muñoz listed as a person of interest. One source stated that the leave of absence came as a result of the investigation. From 2014 to 2016, Muñoz served as senior vice president of Nissan North America before moving to the position of president, and was considered to be very close to Ghosn.
Other sources claim that Muñoz was not cooperating with Nissan's internal investigation.
Earlier this week, Ghosn spoke publicly at a court hearing in Tokyo, denying the allegations against him and insisting that his financial practices were on the table.[Image: Nissan]