Ghosn's Nissan salary could draw fire in France

Bruce Gain is an Automotive News Europe correspondent in France.

Carlos Ghosn's 7.6 million euro ($10 million) annual salary to head Nissan will likely further upset French unions and government officials who are already angry about the 2.47 million euros he got last year for running Renault.

Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg and union officials have described Ghosn's Renault salary as excessive, especially since Renault has implemented a wage freeze in France and is reducing its work force in the country.

Ghosn agreed to postpone 30 percent of his variable 2012 Renault bonus until 2016 during negotiations with CGT union officials earlier this year. CGT representative Ali Kayak, however, told radio station France Info that the gesture was an affront to French workers, who calculated that Ghosn's combined 2012 salary would still total more than 27,500 euros a day. In solidarity-minded France, that is widely seen as obscenely high.

Now French media are touting Ghosn as the "best-paid CEO in Japan" following the announcement he made 988 million yen from Nissan for the fiscal year that ended March 31. By comparison, Toyota boss Akio Toyoda was paid 184 million yen and Honda CEO Takanobu Ito received 145 million yen for the same time period, according to media reports.

Since Ghosn's Nissan salary could raise some eyebrows in France, it's likely he will face even more scrutiny from unions and politicians here over his annual pay at Renault in the future.

You can reach Bruce Gain at

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