Carlos Ghosn, born 9 March 1954 is a Brazilian-Lebanese businessman who is currently the Chairman and CEO of Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan and holds the same positions at Paris-based Renault, which together produce more than one in 10 cars worldwide. Ghosn is also Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the strategic partnership overseeing the two companies through a unique cross-shareholding agreement.
For orchestrating one of the decade's most aggressive downsizing campaigns and spearheading the turnaround of Nissan from near bankruptcy in the late 1990s, Ghosn earned the nicknames "le cost killer" and "Mr. Fix It." After the Nissan financial turnaround, he ...view middle of the document...
1 Japanese carmaker. (By contrast, more traditional automakers focus on wealthy markets such as North America and Western Europe, which are seen as less risky bets.) His strategy for penetrating emerging markets includes selling cars with sticker prices under $3,000 and successfully commercializing affordable zero-emission vehicles: "If you're going to let developing countries have as many cars as they want -- and they're going to have as many cars as they want one way or another -- there is no absolutely alternative but to go for zero emissions. And the only zero-emissions vehicle available today is electric.... So we decided to go for it," he told the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. Ghosn is married and has four children. Ghosn, whom Forbes Magazine called "the hardest-working man in the brutally competitive global car business," splits his time between Paris and Tokyo and logs roughly 150,000 miles in airplanes per year. Japanese media also call him “Seven-Eleven” (“work very hard from early in the morning till late at night”).
Ghosn is often hailed as a potential presidential candidate in Lebanon. In a June 2011 survey by insurance company AXA, Ghosn was ranked seventh in a random poll asking Japanese people, "Which celebrity do you want to run Japan?" (Barack Obama was No. 9, and Japan's own prime minister Naoto Kan was No. 19.) He has so far declined such overtures, saying he has "no political ambitions."
In 1981, Ghosn joined French automotive supplier Michelin as a plant manager in Le Puy, France. In 1984 he was named head of research and development for the company's industrial tire division. One year later, he became chief operating officer of Michelin's South American operations, based in Brazil. In 1990, he was named chairman and chief executive officer of Michelin North America, where he presided over the restructuring of the company after its acquisition of the Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company. He held those positions until 1996, when Renault hired him as executive vice president responsible for advanced research, car engineering and development, car manufacturing, powertrain operations, purchasing and supervision of Renault activities in South America.
In 1999, Renault purchased a 36.8 percent stake in Nissan. While maintaining his roles at Renault, Ghosn joined Nissan as its chief operating officer in June 1999, became its president in June 2000 and was named chief executive officer in June 2001. When he joined the company, Nissan had debt of $20 billion and only three of its 48 models were generating a profit -- and reversing the company's sinking fortunes was considered "mission impossible.". Ghosn promised to resign if the company did not reach profitability by the end of the year, and claimed that Nissan would have no net debt by 2005. He defied Japanese business etiquette, cut 21,000 Nissan jobs (or 14 percent of total workforce), shut the first of...