Ghosn: if you dont escape, youll die in Japan. Im a hostage of a country

 Ghosn: if you dont escape, youll die in Japan. Im a hostage of a country

According to the head of public relations of Ghosn, he held a press conference in Lebanon at 3:00 p.m. local time on January 8, 2020 (9:00 p.m. Beijing time on January 8, 2020) to explain a series of suspected incidents and the reasons for his escape.

Journalists from many countries, including the Japanese media, applied to attend the press conference, but most of them were rejected, according to the Japanese news agency.

According to the analysis, this press conference is the first public appearance of Ghosn after he fled to Lebanon, but the Japanese media were excluded. It may be to avoid the severe investigation and questioning of the critical Japanese media.

Press conference

Im in solitary confinement and Im being interrogated for more than eight hours a day.

Ghosn: Thank you for meeting my family. Today, a year ago, I was handcuffed and taken away in solitary confinement. I didnt see my family for six weeks. I was interrogated for eight hours every day. There was no lawyer. I didnt know what my charges were. I didnt see their evidence. They violated my human rights.

Ghosn: more than 400 days of inhuman torture, I have no choice but to go. There is no evidence for my accusation. They didnt publish all my documents. Why dont they let me hold a press conference. They harassed my wife and monitored all my actions.

I was arrested by Nissan and the prosecutor.

Ghosn: I am in Lebanon. I respect the government of Lebanon. I will not do anything to harm the government and people of Lebanon.

Ghosn: Im under arrest. Its a plot between Nissan and the prosecutor. They told me at the beginning that I had to confess. They didnt want to find out the truth. They just wanted me to confess.

I will not die in Japan or escape

Ghosn: Ill die in Japan or escape. Im a hostage of a country.

Ghosn: the Middle East market is very important. I want to change the way they do business, so let the local dealers cooperate. Every time they do this, they will make more profits for the company. The prosecutor said I have something special with the local people

Thats why we give these incentive fees to dealers. In fact, these incentive fees are very normal.

Ghosn: Ive seen fake leagues. They cant do anything.

Ghosn: Im innocent. Im innocent. I have a lot of documents to prove. I want justice, thats why I want to leave Japan.

Ghosn: they said I was greedy, but in 2009, GM was in a bad situation. At that time, they paid me twice as much as they wanted me to go to GM. I didnt leave. The captain couldnt leave the ship.

Nan Cai Express

Ghosn and Japanese management: contribution and conflict

(the author of this paper: Dai Erbao, deputy director and professor of the Institute of Asian growth, Japan)

On January 8, 2020, when the United States and Iraq are threatening each other, Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of Nissan motor, held his first press conference since his escape in his hometown Lebanon. Although the heat of the conference was covered up by the politics of big powers, for Japan and the global automobile industry, the legendary flight and subsequent changes of Ghosn from the end of the year to the end of the year are a very important event.

At the end of December 2019, the Japanese islands, immersed in the atmosphere of saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new, were shocked by a quick report: Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan Motor Company during the bail period, had fled Japan and arrived in Lebanon! 13 months ago, in November 2018, the special search Department of the Tokyo local prosecutors Office (hereinafter referred to as the Tokyo special search Department) arrested Ghosn, who had just returned to Narita Airport in Tokyo from overseas, for the reason of violating the financial commodity trading law. It was also a sensation. The dramatic process and complex background of goens desperate escape once again attracted the worlds attention.

Photo source / Xinhuanet

Why did a wizard of foreign nationality, once a household name in Japan, become a suspect hunted by the red wanted order? In the 20 years from taking office at Nissan in 1999 to being dismissed in 2019, we can see the process of Ghosns transition from a reformer (contributor) of Japanese management to a rival (conflict) of betrayal.

Born in Brazil, Ghosn grew up in Lebanon. After studying in France, he studied in the famous Paris Institute of higher technology and the Paris National Institute of higher mining and obtained a doctors degree. After graduation, Ghosn has worked as an enterprise manager in Europe, the United States, South America and other countries. He is fluent in French, Arabic, English, Portuguese, Spanish and other five languages. His professional ability and rich cross-cultural experience give him the rare advantage of senior managers in the era of globalization. He has become the vice president of Renault Motor Company in France.

In 1999, Renault funded Nissan, one of Japans three largest car companies, which was on the verge of operating crisis, and appointed Ghosn as its CEO. When I first arrived in Japan, Nissan company and Japanese society had no hope for this foreigner who didnt know Japanese. However, on the one hand, Ghosn went deep into the field and various departments to investigate and find out the crux of the problem, and then made bold reforms immediately; on the other hand, he made great efforts to learn Japanese and Japanese culture, and actively communicated with enterprise employees and all sectors of Japanese society.

Three years later, in 2003, a miracle happened: Nissans marketing interest rate rose from 1.4% to 11%; its domestic market share rose to more than 20%; its annual total interest broke a record and turned into profit for three consecutive years; it paid off a huge interest bearing debt of more than 20 billion US dollars! The gorgeous V-shaped reply makes Nissan return to the ranks of three major Japanese automobile manufacturers.

In 2005, Ghosn was president of both Nissan and Renault.

After Nissan merged Mitsubishi in 2016, the Nissan Renault Mitsubishi alliance, which he promoted to form and serve as chairman, became the fourth largest automobile production group in the world.

Photo source / Xinhuanet

Great success makes Ghosn become a famous star entrepreneur in Japan and even in the world. The Japanese government awarded him a variety of awards and medals in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Japanese enterprise management reform. Waseda University and the University of law and politics awarded him an honorary doctors degree. Tsinghua University School of economics and management and other internationally renowned institutions invited him to serve as a consultant. Important multinational enterprises also competed to appoint him as a director or even chairman of the board. At that time, Ghosn appeared frequently in newspapers, magazines, radio stations, comics and textbooks. It can be said that he outstripped the CEOs of all other automobile enterprises of his time.

The success of Ghosn also brings a new wind to the reform of Japanese enterprise management. In 1970-80s, Japanese enterprise management was popular in the world. However, after 1990s, the IT revolution and economic globalization brought about the acceleration of technological progress and the mobility of talents, which made the Japanese management famous for life-long employment, annual merit and salary system, collective decision-making, a series of enterprises within the group to help each other and loyal enterprises lose its charm in the past. The economic downturn after the bursting of the Japanese asset market bubble has forced the Japanese economic community to calm down and reflect on themselves and learn from Europe and America in an open mind. As the most influential European and American executives in Japanese large enterprises at that time, a series of operation and management reforms launched by Ghosn attracted wide attention, especially the following aspects were positively evaluated.

(1) There is a clear vision for development and an efficient decision-making and implementation system. On the basis of the presidents personal investigation and investigation, the development direction, development objectives and key issues and countermeasures shall be determined rapidly. Efficient decision-making and decisive implementation.

(2) Compared with the vast majority of Japanese business leaders, they attach more importance to the interests of investors (shareholders), financial indicators and stock prices. Starting from the bold cost reduction (marketing cost, labor cost, component cost, etc.), the investment return rate of the enterprise is significantly improved.

(3) Compared with the education background, seniority, and work diligence (which are generally valued by Japanese enterprises), ability and achievements are more valued. Introduce English as the companys internal public language, and make bold use of young people with ability and creativity, excellent professionals who have jumped from other companies, and foreigners who can promote the companys globalization.

(4) Unlike most Japanese business leaders who have been promoted step by step from ordinary staff to the top of the company and kept a low profile, Ghosn, a professional manager, actively participates in various external communication activities of the company to maximize the public relations role of the companys top leaders.

But there are two sides to everything. While the Ghosn style reform has won a lot of praise, there have been many questions from the Japanese business management community. The main criticisms include the following:

(1) Take the interests of shareholders (especially major shareholders) as the priority and despise the rights and interests of employees of the company. At the same time, Nissans social contribution to employment is far less than that of its competitors. At the beginning of Ghosns appointment, in order to reduce labor costs, iron face laid off one seventh of Nissans employees (more than 20000 people), shocking the Japanese industry with a tradition of lifelong employment.

(2) Too much power. With the growing prestige of Ghosn, the autocratic system in Nissan has been gradually formed, and the important departments such as finance appoint cronies, resulting in the weakening of the internal supervision system of the company.

(3) In Japan, which advocates collective cooperation and credits the achievements to all enterprises, the actual remuneration of Ghosn is very high. According to the financial report, in recent years, Ghosns open annual salary is more than $10 million, more than three times the annual salary of the president of Toyota, a leading Japanese company. But in Mr Ghosns view, his contribution should be rewarded more than the annual salary (up to about $30 million) of CEOs of major US and European peer companies.

Therefore, in addition to the above-mentioned open annual salary, Nissan has agreed to pay him a huge amount of remuneration in the form of future payment (nearly $90 million accumulated in 2010-2018). At the same time, Ghosn also holds a high proportion of Nissan shares, and the annual dividend amount is similar to the public annual salary. In addition, in the name of the companys business needs, Ghosn asked Nissan to buy luxury houses and cars for him in Japan, Europe, South America, the Middle East and other places, and mix public and private use.

(4) At the same time, Ghosn is also the chairman of Renault and Nissan. The difference in his loyalty to Renault and Nissan makes it hard for the native old Nissan people and the industrial authorities of the Japanese government to rest assured of Ghosn.

It can be said that Ghosn has fulfilled the task entrusted to him by Renault with great expectation. Whats more, relevant data show that the French government, as a major shareholder of Renault, intends to invest in Renault in recent years, to indirectly expand its influence on Nissan and help the French economy with the help of Ghosn. This trend caused the anxiety of Nissans management about whether Nissan was named Japan or France, and also caused the Japanese government (Ministry of economy and industry) to be on guard and uneasy. This is thought to be the underlying cause of Ghosns sudden arrest in November 2018.

Throughout the 20-year history of Ghosn in charge of Nissan, the above-mentioned positive and negative evaluations have always existed. However, in the early stage, Ghosn not only made an important contribution to Nissans v-word reply, but also introduced the business management modes and techniques of Europe and America into large Japanese enterprises, providing a successful sample for the reform of Japanese business.

Therefore, for a long time, the evaluation of Ghosn was obviously more positive than negative. However, with the rise of his reputation and self-esteem, the problems in his operation and management gradually tend to be serious or magnified by public opinion. At the same time, Japanese management gradually regained self-confidence while reforming. Therefore, in the later period of his rule of Nissan, Ghosn was betrayed by many people unconsciously. At last, he was reported by a senior executive (new president) who was promoted by himself, and ended up with an unexpected result of arrest, bail, re arrest, re bail and illegal escape of Tokyo special search Department, which was specially in charge of major cases.

It is worth noting that many Japanese legal professionals have publicly pointed out that despite the fact that the Japanese prosecution (Tokyo special search Department) arrested Ghosn for violating the financial commodity trading law and corporate rules (for the benefit of the public) and other charges, it would be difficult to determine the guilt of Ghosn based on the criminal evidence disclosed at present, if compared with the code of conduct of executives of European and American enterprises and relevant European and American laws. However, the Japanese law formed on the soil of Japanese corporate culture and social public opinion is easy to imprison Ghosn who is selfish.

Twenty years ago, Ghosn set foot on the Japanese island in high spirits and experienced extraordinary success and glory. But 20 years later, he fled with resentment. It is not only his personal tragedy, but also the tragedy of Nissan and Japan to become an international wanted man from an internationally famous entrepreneur. Japan, which is trying to explore the road of economic revitalization, is not in need of technology or capital, but entrepreneurs with global vision and dare to challenge.

To this end, in recent years, the Japanese government has gradually relaxed the door and welcomed foreign investors, business managers and professionals to Japan for entrepreneurship and innovation. In such an era, the negative impact of the ghorn incident cannot be underestimated.

How to prevent such tragedies from happening again? Japan is faced with many problems to be improved in the fields of transnational enterprise governance, intercultural communication, legislation, justice and so on.

Source: editor in charge of 21st century economic report: Liu Songpeng nbj9949