ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

Open minds and enthusiasm: Early days in Tokyo

Cultural sensitivity and a sincere desire to fix Nissan help Ghosn break the ice

Carlos Ghosn, then-chief operating officer of Nissan Motor, poses for a photo with Yoshikazu Hanawa, then-CEO of the Japanese automaker.

Before the alliance between Renault and Nissan Motor, I had been to Japan only once in my life. It was in 1984, and I was still with Michelin. I had gone on a business trip to visit Komatsu, but my stay lasted for only two days -- too short to get a real impression.

I visited Japan a few other times during the partnership negotiations with Nissan, but my true relationship with the country began when my family moved there in May 1999. I arrived in Japan a month before the rest of my family and initially lived in a hotel. The Nissan headquarters were then in a prime location in Ginza, near the center of Tokyo. My first office as chief operating officer was a renovated conference room a few doors down from the then-CEO Hanawa-san. My executive assistant, Takahashi-san, was extremely efficient, expertly managing my appointments so that I could work at a brisk pace.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more