Ghosn says it's payback time at Nissan

YOKOHAMA, Japan -- You've got to love Carlos Ghosn's style.

The CEO of the Nissan-Renault Alliance sees Nissan emerging from financial crisis this year, and now says it's payback time. Payback to the employees who took paycuts for the company.

“People will understand a special sacrifice in a period of crisis,” Ghosn said, while announcing Nissan's return to profit in the just-ended fiscal year. “They will not understand that you're asking them to continue that sacrifice when the company comes back.”

Ghosn piloted Nissan through last year's financial meltdown, largely through hefty cost-cutting. And a big chunk of the change came through trimming employee paychecks, he said.

And it worked: Nissan soared back to profit in the fiscal year ended March 31, after posting operating and net losses the year before. Now look for paychecks to climb north again soon.

“We know that the worst is behind us,” Ghosn said. “You're going to have to bring back the salaries to where they were. This is automatically readjusted up.”

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