Following an emergency board meeting, Renault said Ghosn would remain as its chairman and chief executive but for now, Bolloré would lead the firm with the same powers as Ghosn.

The company said its decision to name him as deputy chief executive was a “transitional governance” measure “to preserve the interests of the group and the continuity of its operations”.

Ghosn was arrested in Japan earlier this week following allegations of financial misconduct. He is the chairman of Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and Renault, in addition to leading an alliance of the three car-makers

BBC reports that Japanese prosecutors believe Ghosn under-reported his income from running Nissan by 5bn yen over five years. Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that Mr Ghosn was planning a merger between Renault and Nissan but that the Japanese company was opposed to a deal.

Nissan and Mitsubishi are both preparing to remove him from his posts, but Mitsubishi Motors chief executive Osamu Masuko said the alliance would be difficult to manage without Ghosn. Nissan has a 34% controlling stake in the smaller Japanese car-maker.

READ MORE: Nissan CEO arrested on basis of financial misconduct