Carlos GhosnEnlarge Photo
Even Superman gets rundown from too much work. Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who has been working a punishing schedule as the operating chief of both car companies, said Friday that he will give up the job of operating chief of Nissan North America.
Ghosn took on that job before he assumed the top job at Renault in 2005. Renault owns a controlling stake in Nissan. Ghosn had taken on the decision-making and operations role for North America when he wanted to tighten up slack in Nissan’s most important market outside of
Ghosn’s move, though, comes a month after Nissan warned that it expected to post lower profits for the 2006 fiscal year, the first drop since Mr. Ghosn became its chief executive in 2001. Nissan saw a 22-percent drop in earnings in the fourth quarter of last year. At that time, Ghosn declared a “performance crisis” and promised to “introduce new energy into the management.”
Chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga, number two at Nissan after Ghosn, will continue to oversee
Ghosn’s announcement about his own role in
Nissan also said this week it is cutting production at two plants in
Nissan sales were off 5.3 percent last year in the
Ghosn also serves as the chief executive of
Ghosn’s responsibilities in
Besides running both automakers, Ghosn has also had a full-plate examining possible partners for mergers. Last summer, the company was in discussions with General Motors about an expansive strategic alliance. Today, the company is on the perimeter of DaimlerChrysler’s move to sell Chrysler. Ghosn has said he is not pursuing the automaker. But sources familiar with Ghosn’s strategy says the company would likely look at Chrysler next fall if no deal with private-equity firms materializes to buy the U.S. automaker and DCX is still a motivated seller.
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