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Making the Car a Mobile, Connected Workspace”: An Interview with Carlos Ghosn

Source |  |  BY:Adi Ignatius

Carlos Ghosn has made a career out of handling crises. In the 1990s the celebrated car executive essentially saved first Renault and then Nissan, and for the past 11 years he’s served as CEO of both. A Brazilian-born Lebanese-Frenchman—the very embodiment of globalization—he somehow manages to be a hands-on executive on two continents.

He is also among the most recognizable figures in the industry. By restructuring Renault and restoring it to profitability, he earned the nickname “Le Cost Killer.” For his success in overhauling Nissan, which formed an alliance with Renault in 1999, Ghosn won the sobriquet “Mr. Fix-It.” And he is famously portrayed as a superhero in a Japanese comic-book series.

But technology can humble even the most successful executives, and Ghosn these days is focused on trying to remain an innovator. Dramatic advances—electric cars, vehicles that operate with significant autonomy, fully self-driving cars—threaten to shake up the industry. Upstarts like Tesla and even Google are now in the automotive business. The transformation is sure to crown new market leaders and ding some incumbents. “We expect major disruptions in technology,” says Ghosn, “which will change the product mix.”


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