Carlos Ghosn's paycheck proves there's a lot more dough for auto execs in Japan than in France.
Ghosn, dual CEO of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co., disclosed how much he makes at each automaker on June 23. And the Japanese job pays more than six times as much.
He takes home 1.2 million euros, or about $1.48 million, in annual compensation from Renault. But he pockets ¥890 million, or about $9.8 million, at Nissan.
Asked to explain the disparity after Nissan's annual shareholders' meeting in Yokohama, Japan, Ghosn cited the homogenous management at the French alliance partner.
"Nissan is a Japanese company with global management while Renault is a French company with French management," he said. "The percentage of non-French at Renault is very small."
As a result, Renault pay is in line with the more modest executive compensation offered leaders at other French companies. At Nissan, 44 percent of the board is non-Japanese, he said.
"You know very well today that if you want to attract global people ... you're going to have to offer them global packages that compare with global companies," said Ghosn, a Frenchman born in Brazil who came to Nissan in 1999 and has led both companies since 2005.
Ghosn's paycheck from Nissan makes him the highest paid executive at a listed Japanese company, according to media reports. But Nissan was quick to point out that Ghosn still comes in below the global average for automotive CEOs. Citing pay figures from Volkswagen, Ford, Daimler and Fiat, Nissan says average chief executive pay comes in at $11.69 million.