Nissan's executive Munoz takes leave after the Ghosn arrest

TOKYO (Reuters) – A general manager of Nissan Motor Co Ltd ( 7201.T ), Jose Munoz, has taken leave in a sudden management shake-up that the Japanese automaker trades in the aftermath of the arrest by former leader Carlos Ghosn.

Jose Munoz, chief president of Nissan Motor Limited, answers a question about the new venture capital fund Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance under the round table of journalists at 2018 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA January 9, 2018. REUTERS / Steve Marcus [19659003] Munoz's absence comes as Ghosn has been held in a detention center since the arrest on November 19 on charges of financial breach, which were followed by re-arrests over further allegations.

In a statement on Saturday, Nissan said that Munoz has taken leave to allow him to assist the company by concentrating on specific tasks due to recent events. "

As a result, his planned appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week would be canceled," a Nissan spokesman said.

Reuters could not immediately reach Munoz for comment.

Munoz is considered by many in the company to be closely associated with Ghosn, whose arrest has shaken the automotive industry and strained Nissan's ties with the French partner Renault SA ( RENA.PA ) where he is still chairman and chief executive.

that some soul is searching for the Japanese automaker, which has admitted that too much force was concentrated on Ghosn after he watched the fight by the struggling automaker two decades ago, after he was rescued from the brink of Renault.

Having denied Ghosn from his leadership position after the arrest, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has urged changes to weaken the management of controlling shareholder Renault.

Mun oz, acting as Nissan's chief president, joined the automaker in 2004 in Europe, and led its ambitious expansion in North America following the global financial crisis.

Since then, Nissan has succeeded in increasing its market share in the US, but the profitability of the region has declined in recent years due to heavy discounting on its vehicles, a problem Saikawa has promised to reverse.

Earlier this year, Nissan dropped Munoz to monitor its operations in China, where it plans to increase sales over the next few years. Since then, the world's largest auto market has shown signs of a slowdown, forcing the automaker to cut local production plans in the coming months.

Reporting Bhargav Acharya in Bengalur, Joe White in DETROIT and Naomi Tajitsu in TOKYO; Editing by Sandra Maler and Jacqueline Wong

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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