: كارلوس غصن; born 9 March 1954) is a Brazilian
businessman. He is the current CEO
of France and Nissan
of Japan. He is largely credited with turning around Nissan. As an outsider in charge of one of Japan
's largest companies, Ghosn has been extremely successful. He was voted Man of the Year 2003 by Fortune magazine
's Asian edition and is also on the board of Alcoa
, and IBM
. Ghosn became CEO of Renault
, in 2005, succeeding Louis Schweitzer
, while remaining CEO of Nissan as well.
Ghosn was born in Porto Velho
on 9 March 1954 to Lebanese
parents. At age 6, he moved to Beirut
, with his mother. He completed his secondary school studies there, in a Jesuit
school (Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour
). He graduated with engineering degrees from the École Polytechnique
in 1978 (X1974
) with last year's specialisation at the École des Mines de Paris
. He is a French
and Lebanese citizen.
Ghosn (pronounced Ghoson
) 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. His turnaround
of Nissan has gained him celebrity status in Japan
, where he has published books and even has a manga
character based on him. When he joined the company, it had debt of $20 billion and only three of its 48 models were generating a profit
. Worse, Ghosn was viewed as an outsider by the media and parts of Nissan. To counteract this view, Ghosn promised to resign if the company did not reach profitability by the end of the year. Ghosn claimed that Nissan would have no net debt by 2005. One year after he arrived, Nissan's net profit
climbed to $2.7 billion from a loss of $6.1 billion in the previous year. Nissan's operating profit (EBIT
, or earnings before interest and taxes) margin has increased from 1.38% in FY 2000 to 9.25% in FY 2006.
Prior to joining Nissan, Ghosn had served as executive vice president of the Renault Group, a position he had held since December 1996. In addition to supervising Renault activities in the Mercosur, he was responsible for advanced research, car engineering and development, car manufacturing, powertrain operations and purchasing. He became president of Renault in April 2005.
Before he joined Renault, Ghosn had worked with Michelin for 18 years. As chairman and CEO of Michelin North America, Ghosn presided over the restructuring of the company after its acquisition of the Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company in 1990. Previously, Ghosn had worked as the COO of Michelin's South American activities based in Brazil; as head of research and development for industrial tires in Ladoux, France; and as plant manager in France.
Kirk Kerkorian recently urged General Motors Corporation to consider a partnership with Nissan and Renault. Carlos Ghosn expressed interest in Renault acquiring up to a 20% stake in General Motors Corporation at a dinner with Kirk Kerkorian that took place around 20 June 2006. Kerkorian had hoped to attract Ghosn to General Motors as CEO, forcing out current GM CEO Rick Wagoner, as Kerkorian believed Ghosn's approach to the auto business and success in turning around both Renault and Nissan make him best-suited to run General Motors.
Talks with GM broke off without any alliance or commitment from either side; Kerkorian has since sold off all shares in GM.
Not so well known, is that Carlos Ghosn was also in the auditing committee of Mirant's board, a firm that went bankrupt in 2003 after severe liquidity and accounting problems. Mirant was Arthur Andersen's second largest client in the power industry, right after Enron.
Awards and Other recognition
In October 2006, Ghosn was named Knight Commander of the British Empire
. He may use the KBE honor, but as he is not a UK citizen
he may not use the title "Sir."
- He and his wife, Rita, have four children: Anthony, Maya, Nadine, a freshman at Stanford University, and Caroline, a senior at Stanford University.
- Jacques Nasser, former CEO of Ford Motor Company from 1999 to 2001, is also Lebanese. Ghosn considers him to be a close friend.
- Ghosn is Multilingual, speaking six languages fluently.
The life of Carlos Ghosn was turned into a comic book series in Japan, titled 'The True Story of Carlos Ghosn' (カルロス・ゴーン物語―企業再生の答がここにある!!). It was first serialized in the 2002-01-18 issue of Big Comic Superior. The 7-chapter stories were later published as a separate book in 2002-04 by Shogakukan
. The book was written by Yoko Togashi
, illustrated by Takanobu Toda