He was the CEO all CEOs wanted the emulate, he turned around the fortunes of Renault and Nissan. He had a jet-set corporate lifestyle and a salary in the millions. He was celebrated. He was fawned over by the media and by his peers. He was Carlos Ghosn, the fugitive CEO who misappropriated millions of corporate money and funnelled a large amount to his personal bank account.
Much of Ghosn’s success came from enacting brutal cuts to the Renault Nissan workforce. He united and then rebuilt the Renault Nissan brands, for the world of business CEO textbook perfect CEO. But for Ghosn the success, the adulation, it was never enough.
Ghosn felt he wasn’t being renumerated enough when compared to other auto executives and CEOs. So he decided to help himself and pocket millions by using his powerful perch as CEO. He did so without disclosing the monetary compensation to his board.
Ghosn’s actions were illegal, eventually, Nissan discovered what was going on and informed the Japanese authorities. Ghosn was arrested in 2018 as he set foot on Japanese soil for what he thought was a scheduled corporate meeting.
Ghosn was imprisoned and eventually released on strict bail conditions, his passport was confiscated because he was considered a flight risk. On 30th December 2019 Ghosn secretly fled Japan hidden in a large musical case stored on a private jet that flew to Lebanon, Ghosn’s ancestral homeland.
With no existing extradition treaty between Lebanon and Japan Ghosn remains a fugitive on the run wanted by Interpol. YouTube channel Cold Fusion gives a fascinating insight into the rise, corruption, greed, and fall of Carlos Ghosn.