Carlos Ghosn: Leaders without Borders

Summary

In late 2004, after five years at the head of Nissan in Japan, Carlos Ghosn was hotter than a new Nissan Z350, a 1970s icon recreated by Nissan in 2000. But the French-educated, Lebanese-Brazilian Ghosn was about to shift into even higher gear, to become CEO of both Nissan and its French partner, Renault. Renowned for his transparency, listening and analytical skills, and for having the "subtlety of a chainsaw", as of 2005 he would lead an automotive alliance operating on three continents, with all the production issues, personnel challenges and currency fluctuations contingent to the job. In his new position, Ghosn would have to orchestrate the complicated alliance between Nissan and Renault, develop synergies within the partnership and, at the same time, foster competition between the two brands in some markets. Would Carlos Ghosn's transformational leadership style be enough to take Renault from admirable to awe-inspiring at a global level?

Teaching objectives

This case enables students to: -explore successful corporate transformation. -understand how early formative life and work experiences contribute to global leadership development. -explore cross-cultural issues. -analyse Carlos Ghosn's key leadership talents. -discuss the future of Renault/Nissan under Ghosn's leadership.

Keywords
  • AR2005
  • AR0506
  • RD0905
  • GLOBAL LEADERSHIP
  • ORGANIZATIONAL TRANSFORMATION
  • LEADERSHIP FORMATIVE EXPERIENCE
  • RENAULT/NISSAN