Carlos Ghosn, (Arabic: كارلوس غصن, born 9 March 1954), KBE, is a Lebanese-French businessman who is currently the Chairman and CEO of Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan and holds the same positions at Paris-based Renault, which together produce more than one in 10 cars worldwide. For orchestrating one of the decade's most aggressive downsizing campaigns and spearheading the turnaround of Nissan from near bankruptcy in the late 1990s, Ghosn earned the nicknames "le cost killer" and "Mr. Fix It." After the Nissan financial turnaround, he achieved celebrity status and ranks as one of the 50 most famous men in global business and politics. In Japan, he is the superhero protagonist in a popular "manga" comic book series. His polemical decision to spend $5 billion to develop the world's first mainstream electric car, the Nissan Leaf, is a subject of the 2011 documentary "Revenge of the Electric Car."
Ghosn (rhymes with "phone" in English) was born in Porto Velho, Brazil on 9 March 1954 to a French mother and Lebanese father. 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). Then he completed his classes préparatoires at Lycée Stanislas in Paris. He graduated with engineering degrees from the École Polytechnique in 1978 (X1974) with the final year's specialisation at the École des Mines de Paris. He is a French citizen. Ghosn is multilingual and speaks six languages (Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, French, English and Japanese).
He has attracted controversy for his candor and for his demanding and sometimes confrontational style. He has also drawn criticism for investing heavily in developing economies, including Brazil, Russia, Korea, India and in particular China, where Nissan is now the No. 1 foreign carmaker. (By contrast, more traditional automakers focus on wealthy markets such as North America and Western Europe, which are seen as less risky bets.) His strategy for penetrating emerging markets includes selling cars with sticker prices under $3,000 and successfully commercializing affordable zero-emission vehicles: "If you're going to let developing countries have as many cars as they want -- and they're going to have as many cars as they want one way or another -- there is no absolutely alternative but to go for zero emissions. And the only zero-emissions vehicle available today is electric.... So we decided to go for it," he told the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.