Carlos Ghosn - The Turnaround Specialist

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN020
Case Length : 09 Pages
Period : 1978-2002
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Nissan
Industry : Automobiles
Countries : Japan

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Odyssey Contd...

From his childhood, Ghosn showed great organizing and managing capabilities. He did his schooling in Lebanon, and was a favorite student of all the teachers because of his intelligence and diligence. Ghosn never rested until he found solutions to the problems he was working on and he enjoyed spending long hours in finding the solutions. He always strived to master every subject. He was popular for his intense personality and leadership traits. Ghosn challenged the authority and age-old rules and always did things differently. He was also notorious in his school for pranks and was branded a troublemaker. Said Ghosn, "I was the first guy to cause trouble whenever I found an opportunity, especially when I was dissatisfied.

If I thought the teacher was boring, I would disrupt the class with some kind of prank."1 However, Ghosn was known more for his intelligence and performance in academics than for his pranks. From his childhood, Ghosn drove himself to excel in whatever he did and he had a tremendous competitive spirit to do better than the people around him. He was an excellent student, who focused on learning everything, and he was interested in knowing more than what was mentioned in the textbooks. Seeing his quest for knowledge, his teachers did not hesitate to go a step further and feed his curiosity for more knowledge. After completing his schooling, Ghosn weighed various options and finally decided to join the Ecole Polytechnique, Engineering University in Paris. He completed his graduation with an engineering degree. During his student days, Ghosn was exposed to a multicultural environment.

He mingled with people from various backgrounds and started learning different languages. During his student days, he headed a group of students from France and America known as 'American Table,' which discussed a wide range of topics from politics to culture. During informal meetings of the group, Ghosn concentrated on improving his English.

Ghosn never thought of his future after graduation. He only concentrated on learning things, which might be useful to him in any profession. After his graduation, he thought of going in for a doctoral degree, but, his plans were altered with a call from the French Tire Company - Michelin2...

Excerpts >>

1]  Magee, David, Turnaround: How Carlos Ghosn Rescued Nissan, Harper Collins Publishers Inc, 2003

2]  French based Michelin group was established in 1832. The company manufactured tires. It even expanded its services to mobility assistance systems, travel assistance services. The company's product line includes - passenger car & light truck tires, aircraft tires, earthmover, agricultural products, two-wheelers, and the components.


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