Meet Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault. He has been named “One of the seven most powerful South Americans” by Forbes.com, and was voted Man of the Year 2003 by Fortune Magazine’s Asian edition. He also speaks six languages (Arabic, English, French, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese). Why are we talking about him? He is a perfect example of Corporacracy, in the best way possible.
Mr. Ghosn is an example of a man who has been given some very unique opportunities in his life, and he has taken full advantage of them. However, unlike many men who rise to the top, he seems to have maintained a sense of integrity and public service, and he has integrated these values smoothly into his business practices. As chairman of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, he oversaw investing US $5 billion into developing an affordable, mainstream electric vehicle – the Nissan Leaf. In the videos below, he discusses his rationale behind this investment:
Unlike the oil magnates who claim to be investing heavily in renewable technologies, Mr. Ghosn’s Nissan delivers tangible results. He realizes that there are inherent problems with the electric car – range, affordability, and battery recharging are all valid considerations, he notes. But he also makes the point that these are hurdles that can be overcome. He uses cell phones as an example: the first cell phone was an enormous 2-kiloton monster that took hours to charge and could only be used for several minutes. Today, phones easily fit in one’s pocket and can work for days on a single charge, and they can even access the internet. Ghosn expects that in ten years’ time, similar advances will be made in electric car technology as demand for such vehicles rises.
Of course, Mr. Ghosn is a businessman; although he may care about the environment and sustainability, he also needs to deliver profits to his shareholders. The Nissan Leaf is not only a major step forward for human transportation, but also for Nissan as a company. Showing the ability to produce such a technological marvel and bring it to market during a recessionary period shows initiative, and it may very well give Nissan a new market niche.
Because Mr. Ghosn is using his position of corporate power to lessen humanity’s impact on our environment, he and his company are an excellent example of the positive side of Corporacracy. We here at The Whistleblower often discuss corporate and political corruption and scandals, but we love to discuss the more beneficial side of big business. For the moment, we will enjoy lifting the whistles from our necks and instead putting our hands together for Mr. Ghosn.