Has Ghosn worn out his welcome at Renault?

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For anyone who still thinks Carlos Ghosn walks on water or if you care about Renault or Nissan, you should read the Reuters special report about Ghosn that we posted here over the weekend.

In short, it appears Ghosn's tenure as CEO of Renault and Nissan is under review on the Renault side of the equation. And it should be. There is just too much work to be done at both companies.

The French want better results from Renault and the company's share price is suffering. Ghosn's strategic six-year plan for Renault was not greeted well. And, in the midst of all this, the company's management is tearing itself apart during an embarrassing, possibly faux, espionage scandal. If Ghosn were to step down as CEO of Renault, the French probably wouldn't complain.

"I think on the whole, investors would view it as a positive were Ghosn to step away from the day-to-day running of the business," Barclays Capital analyst Kristina Church told Reuters.


Ghosn is still a rock star at Nissan and in Japan. He has many challenges in running Nissan -- and that job won't get any easier as Nissan tries to keep up with Honda, Toyota, the reorganized U.S. automakers, and the Koreans. And when you think about it, outside of Europe, the auto world already links him more to Nissan than it does to Renault.

The idea of one executive running two major automakers on two continents certainly isn't unique. Sergio Marchionne is handling that task pretty well at Fiat and Chrysler.

Ghosn has handled the dual job since 2005 as well anyone could imagine. But, as he turns 57 on Wednesday, maybe it's time for Ghosn to make Nissan his full-time job.

You can reach Philip Nussel at pnussel@crain.com.

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