Capital: € 34 million
Age: 65
Born: May 9, 1954
Country of origin: Brazil
Source of wealth: Entrepreneurs
Last updated: 2022

Short introduction

Carlos Ghosn (born March 9, 1954 in Porto Velho, Brazil) – French manager of Lebanese descent, former president and CEO of Renault and Nissan; Head of the strategic alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. Became known as a very good Nissan crisis manager.

Early life

Since 1978 he has worked at Michelin, managed the Brazilian and North American divisions and was General Director for the production of passenger car tires and tires for light commercial vehicles. Since December 1996 – Executive Vice President of Renault. In June 1999, he joined Nissan as production director and then became president of the company (June 2000) and CEO (June 2001). During his time at Nissan, he was nicknamed “Cost Killer” because the program he implemented enabled the company to cut costs significantly. Since April 29, 2005, he has also been President and CEO of Renault. Since June 28, 2012 – Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of AvtoVAZ OJSC. In 2013-2016 he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of AvtoVAZ OJSC and then transferred this position to Sergey Skvortsov, Rostec’s top manager. Carlos Ghosn earned $ 12.5 million in 2011-2012 and became the highest-paid top manager in Japan. At the same time, Ghosn’s income as head of Renault in France was 9 million euros.

Career

After graduating in 1978, Ghosn worked for 18 years at Michelin, Europe’s largest tire manufacturer, where he initially trained and worked in several plants in France and Germany. In 1981, he became plant manager in Le Puy-en-Velay, France. In 1984 he was appointed head of research and development for the company’s industrial tire department.

When Ghosn was 30 in 1985, he was appointed Michelin’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) in South America. He returned to Rio de Janeiro and reported directly to François Michelin. Ghosn formed cross-functional management teams to identify best practices among the French, Brazilians and other nationalities working in the South American department. The multicultural experience in Brazil formed the basis for his cross-cultural management style and the emphasis on diversity as a core business argument. “You learn from diversity … the common ground consoles you,” said Ghosn. The division returned to profit in two years.

After taking care of Michelin in South America, Ghosn was appointed President and COO of Michelin North America in 1989 and moved with his family to Greenville, South Carolina. He was promoted to CEO of Michelin North America in 1990. After taking over the Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company, he led the company’s restructuring.

In 1996, Ghosn was appointed Executive Vice President and was responsible for purchasing, research, engineering and development, powertrain operation, and manufacturing at Renault. He was also responsible for Renault’s South American division, located in Mercosur. Ghosn’s radical restructuring of Renault successfully contributed to the company’s profitability in 1997. His reputation for success under François Michelin was further reinforced by the newly privatized Renault group.

Career highlights

On November 19, 2018, Japanese and international news media reported that Carlos Ghosn volunteered for the Tokyo public prosecutor’s office and was arrested. At the same time, Nissan Motor Co. released a press release containing information on the long-term embezzlement of information about the company’s earnings on the stock exchange, the overvaluation and disguising of management’s earnings and the use of company assets by top managers for personal purposes. The main culprits of the violations were Carlos Ghosn and Greg Kelly. The company announced that the board of directors would be asked about Ghosn’s dismissal and also apologized to the shareholders. All of this resulted in a 12% decrease in company shares. Renault also removed Ghosn from the management on January 24, 2019. On March 6, 2019, Carlos Ghosn was released on bail of 1 billion yen (approximately $ 9 million) from a prison in Tokyo. On April 8, Carlos Ghosn was expelled from the Nissan Board.

On December 30, 2019, Carlos Ghosn was secretly taken from Japan in a box of musical instruments and bypassed the border and customs procedures by private plane over Istanbul to Lebanon, where he violated the conditions of house arrest with his French passport. One of his Japanese lawyers told the press that all of the director’s passports – Lebanese, French, and Brazilian passports – were kept by Ghosn’s defenders at all times. On December 31, Ghosn published a short press release with the following statements:

I am now in Lebanon and I am no longer considered a hostage to the Japanese system of fake justice, in which guilt is predetermined, discrimination is widespread and basic human rights are denied. I have no intention of hiding from the judiciary – I have escaped injustice and political persecution. Now I can finally communicate freely with the media and look forward to the beginning of the next week.

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