A leader’s moment of exit is crucial, Carlos Ghosn told the Financial Times in June, because it carries a message. On Monday Nissan, the Japanese carmaker he once helped rescue, abruptly accused him of “numerous ... significant” acts of misconduct, including personal use of corporate assets and understating his pay. Tokyo prosecutors arrested him. The company said it would propose stripping the multinational executive of his chairmanship at a board meeting on Thursday. Ghosn has not yet commented on the allegations but, whatever the eventual message of his exit, it will not be the one he wanted to send. His reputation as the ringmaster of a tripartite worldwide automotive alliance between Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault, where he is still CEO, may now be irreparably damaged. The alliance itself, for which he provided the leadership glue, is under threat. The executive’s fall from grace in Japan is particularly vertiginous. In the 1990s, he restructured Renault, earning the nickname “...

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