Khazanah Global Lectures
Carlos Ghosn

Carlos Ghosn
President & CEO, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
President & CEO, Renault

Carlos Ghosn is President and CEO of Renault and Nissan. 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.
"Managing Diversity"
21 March 2008
Shangri-La, Kuala Lumpur
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Inspiring Lecture

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"The basic objective of management is to create value. It's very important never to forget why we're here. And the higher you are in management, the more obvious it has to be."

Ghosn became CEO of Renault, Nissan's partner and shareholder, in 2005, succeeding Louis Schweitzer, while remaining CEO of Nissan as well.

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. 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. 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 (Bloomberg figures).

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 chief executive officer 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 chief operating officer 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 Le Puy, France.

Ghosn was born in Porto Velho, Brazil on March 9, 1954. At age 6, he moved to Beirut, Lebanon, with his mother. He completed his secondary school studies there, in a Jesuit school (Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour). He graduated with engineering degrees in France from École Polytechnique in 1974 and from École des Mines de Paris in 1978. He and his wife, Rita, have four children.

Talking Points

Carlos Ghosn
brought over a quarter of a century of knowledge and experience in the automotive industry to the KGL to offer indispensable insights into this trade: From business models, cross-cultural management, cost-competitiveness and acquisition of relevant technology to branding and marketing strategies, customer relations and human capital development. Ghosn touched upon operating a business in the emerging markets of China and India, the ASEAN markets and Malaysia’s role and position in the automotive industry and the emerging markets.

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