PARIS -- Renault will skip tens of millions of dollars in planned payments to former Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn after its top shareholder, the French government, warned of a backlash from the public.
The automaker's board said it "unanimously decided" on Wednesday to waive Ghosn's noncompete agreement and so will not pay what would have been two years' worth of compensation. He also loses the rights to Renault shares granted for deferred and performance pay since the mid-2010s, with the company citing his "presence" as a condition he no longer meets.
In all, the detained ex-chief will be denied $30 million euros ($34 million) in compensation, Reuters estimated.
The government recently cautioned the automaker over the matter. "No one would understand if the severance pay of Carlos Ghosn were exorbitant," Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in late January.
"We are going to be extremely vigilant," Le Maire said.
The board said it will decide on Ghosn's 2018 remuneration at a March 15 meeting.
Ghosn's troubles began this past November with his arrest in Japan on suspicion of underreporting his compensation at Renault alliance partner Nissan Motor, which quickly fired him as chairman and representative director. Ghosn resigned as Renault chief in January.