How Carlos Ghosn Became the World’s Most Famous Fugitive

Carlos Ghosn Bloomberg | James Alexander Michie

Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of Nissan, leaves his lawyers’ office in Tokyo on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Photographer: Takaaki Iwabu/Bloomberg

Carlos Ghosn is a Brazilian-born French businessman of Lebanese descent who is currently an internationally sought-after fugitive. Certainly, Ghosn has served as CEO of Michelin North America, president, and CEO of Renault, president of AvtoVAZ, president and CEO of Nissan, and president of Mitsubishi Motors. Likewise, Ghosn was also president and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, a strategic partnership between car manufacturers through a complex cross-participation agreement. The company has had a market share of approximately 10% since 2010 and, as of 2017, it was considered the largest car group in the world.

It should be noted that after Nissan’s financial change, in 2002 Fortune awarded him the Asia Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2003, Fortune identified him as one of the 10 most powerful people in business outside the United States, and his Asian edition voted him as the Man of the Year. Surveys published jointly by the Financial Times and PricewaterhouseCoopers named him the fourth most respected business leader in 2003 and the third most respected business leader in 2004 and 2005. He quickly achieved celebrity status in Japan and in the business world, and His life has been narrated in Japanese comics.

Most Famous Fugitive

Ghosn left the position of Nissan CEO on April 1, 2017, while serving as president of the company. He was arrested at Haneda airport on November 19, 2018, on charges of underestimating his earnings and misuse of the company’s assets. On November 22, 2018, the Nissan board made the unanimous decision to dismiss Ghosn as president of Nissan. It was followed by the Mitsubishi Motors board on November 26, 2018.

Certainly, Renault and the French government continued to support him at first, presuming his innocence until proven guilty. However, they finally found the situation unsustainable and Ghosn was forced to retire as president and CEO of Renault on January 24, 2019. While on bail in early March, Ghosn was arrested again in Tokyo on April 4, 2019, for new Nissan misappropriation charges. On April 8, 2019, Nissan shareholders voted to expel Ghosn from the company’s board of directors. He was released again on bail on April 25. In June, Renault discovered 11 million euros in questionable expenses for him, which led to a French investigation and raids. Ghosn then fled from Japan to Lebanon on December 30, breaking his bail conditions. On January 2, 2020, Interpol issued a red notice to Lebanon requesting Ghosn’s arrest.

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Source: Matthew Campbell, Brian Bremner, Kae Inoue, and Ania Nussbaum | Bloomberg

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