Carlos Ghosn: Hero or Villain?
(7 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
In 2018, the acknowledged saviour of Nissan and the creator of the 19-year-old cross-shareholding Renault-Nissan alliance was accused by the Tokyo Prosecutors Office of understating his compensation and of using company resources for personal gain. The arrest of the former chairperson of Groupe Renault, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors brought to light weak governance practices at Nissan and challenged the state of the tripartite alliance. How could Nissan restore investor trust and prevent the recurrence of another scandal? What would happen to the alliance? Convicted or not, could the saviour himself ever recover from this scandal? Was he indeed a hero or a villain?
This case is designed for an undergraduate- or graduate-level course on corporate governance, ethics, leadership, international business, or strategic management. It can also be used to discuss the separation of chief executive officer and chairperson posts, the ethics of executive compensation, and the challenges of international alliances. The case illustrates poor corporate governance and highlights the need for executives and board directors to responsibly perform their fiduciary duties to stakeholders, especially for listed firms. The case can also be used to discuss corporate board reforms. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Analyze situations in which governance problems arise.
- Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of a combined chief executive officer–chairperson role.
- Determine the duties and responsibilities of board directors.
- Provide insights into the relationship between governance characteristics and decision making in international alliances.
- Develop a governance framework for listed firms.
France; Japan, Large, 2019
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