Turnaround: how Carlos Ghosn rescued Nissan by David Magee

Turnaround: how Carlos Ghosn rescued Nissan by David Magee

Turnaround: how Carlos Ghosn rescued Nissan by David Magee

by styleabille , January 5, 2019

Book Reviews

This is a tribute to Carlos Ghosn.

I read“turnaround” back in 2003. It was the first year of my bachelor’s in economics.Back then I only knew that Ghosn was a leader in adopting so many cultures having rescued four companies on four continents. This book was enlightening and I highly recommend reading it at this time as Ghosn is facing the harshest turmoil in his life. He has been in a Japanese jail since November 2018 accused of financial wrongdoing.

The Book

Carlos Ghosnsheds light on what he believes were the critical success factors for his endeavor with Nissan: accountability and transparency.

It is structured in two ways; the first way consists of a scientific and chronological text over more than 250 pages. The author describes the rise of Ghosn starting spring 2001. One would find data, numbers, and stories. Those oftentimes revolved around trust, execution, management, culture, and partnership. The second way consists of a psycho-social analysis of Ghosn and how he is different in comparison to other business leaders both in France and worldwide. The author was keen to analyze Ghosn’s personality and his behaviors describing Ghosn as the man who makes a difference.

I recently read more than 18 articles about Ghosn and his arrest. I also recalled having read this book about him (there are plenty others that you can find on www.amazon.com; more than 15 in various languages). Many call Ghosn the cost-killer and this is one of his many management secrets. However what few know is that Ghosn is a daunting leader. When one understands how Ghosn behaves as a father, how he revived Nissan (back then nearly bankrupt), how he closed plants, how he broke the Keiretsu[1]relations, and how he pushed for innovation in the automotive industry – one would understand who we are talking about.

Carols Ghosnis a bold and audacious person who dares to defy taboos that permeate business worldwide.


In Renaissance (another book of Ghosn), Carlos Ghosn said that he was the “first guy to cause trouble whenever (he) found an opportunity”. Since the spring of Nissan in 2001, Ghosn demonstrated that he is a leader – unlike any other leader. I am not writing to defend him against the recent accusations. I am writing to honor this person’s achievements and how his success has been sustainable.

I sincerely hope that Carlos Ghosn is managing his anger and proving his patience while in jail. Traits he spoke about in this one minute WSJ interview. If you have more than one minute watch Ghosn in a session with students at Stanford University. No wonder he always wanted to be a teacher…

[1] Set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings

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