Known as “Le Cost Killer,” Carlos Ghosn’s first step to the turnaround at Nissan was to cut 21,000 jobs worldwide. He then pledged that as CEO he would return Nissan to financial stability by cutting its debt by 50% and increasing its operating margin to 4.5% within three years (xix) or he would resign.
He met his goals and greatly surpassed them. Carlos Ghosn has a clear gift for management and excellence, but the support and resources dedicated to him from Renault throughout the process helped him succeed. The other way he made the turnaround so quickly was in admitting the shortcomings of Nissan’s management and waning corporate culture. By addressing the problems, he could efficiently fix them.
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From a corporate anthropologist’s perspective, “Carlos Ghosn is the epitome of cultural diversity” (xxi). Mr Ghosn’s global background, being raised in Brazil and educated in France, are clear components of his accomplishments and his innate ability to fit into a foreign setting.
This ability helped him integrate his team smoothly into Japan where people like to see effort and respect from foreign workers. Mr. Ghosn exemplified this when he said that he would embrace Japan fully and give all his effort to make the experience work. He soon developed his own culture at Nissan whereby changes evolved for the sake of performance only rather than to change the company.
Throughout the transition, he emphasized that he was not “a missionary.” This was important because he did not want to set himself apart from his co-workers. This kept solidarity among the team. This is important in terms of corporate anthropology because he told his team that they were not going to change Japan but to help Nissan.
They would be the ones adapting to Japan and not vice versa. The point also aimed at keeping everyone’s goals in line with the objective of getting Nissan back on a productive track.
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