Ghosn: It's Good To Be A King

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan
ghosn it s good to be a king

In order to save Nissan from certain death in 1999, Renault dispatched Carlos Ghosn to Japan to take over as COO. The French-Lebanese Brazilian was promoted President of the Nipponese carmaker, and CEO in June 2001. In Japan, he had shocked the conservatives, later he became a cult figure, a gaijin shogun. He was even immortalised in a manga. In 2005, Ghosn was crowned King of the Realm and became CEO of Renault.

So, you’d think by now that Monsieur Ghosn-sama is sick to death of the Franco-Nipponese alliance? And that the 55 year old will retire to the South of France? After all, Ghosn had anointed his deputy Patrick Pelata as chief operating officer at Renault over a year ago. Some saw that as a sign of Ghosn’s impending au revoir. And had Ghosn not said he would stay no more than 10 years when he took over at Nissan in 1999? Come on Carlos, it’s 2010 already!

Not so fast. Reuters reports that the CEO of Renault and Nissan intends to stay on as leader of the alliance for the foreseeable future. “I think the fact that I have a chief operating officer in both Renault and Nissan is a normal evolution where we want a good strategic focus, a good hands-on operation and very short decision timing,” Ghosn told a small group of reporters iat the annual rumour-fest in Geneva.

Ghosn quickly squashed any thoughts of King Le Cost Killer abdicating. Ghosn said that he expects to be elected by the Renault board to lead the company for the next 4 years. “If you see me among the candidates, you can probably understand that I’m not about to take more distance from the operations,” he said, possibly with an air of smugness.

The news will probably move the noses of Patrick Pelata and Toshiyuki Shiga, the COO’s of Renault and Nissan, respectively, back to the grindstone. These 2 are hotly tipped to take over their respective companies as CEO when Ghosn finally leaves. If he ever leaves…..

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4 of 7 comments
  • Martin Schwoerer Martin Schwoerer on Mar 05, 2010

    He's 55, not 66.

  • Ronman Ronman on Mar 05, 2010

    I doubt he will give up. he put Nissan and Renault up, they've recently fallen, and he wont leave unless they are up again, or if he's kicked out. I think he's got what it takes, but his Anal personality has surely encrusted itself in the Nissan and Renault mind set, but for some reason Nissan more than Renault. and one more thing, Pelata swears by him, i don't think he will be actively gunning to take his spot...after all what is Pelata without Ghosn. but I'm sure the likable French will take the spot if handed to him...but again, i don't think Ghosn will leave...

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