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Men of the Years: Every Automobile Magazine Man of the Year Since 1990

2002: Carlos Ghosn

Head of Renault Nissan

In our words: “Since he joined Nissan, Ghosn has turned the company around, a feat that made him a shoo-in as Automobile Magazine’s Man of the Year…One of the most striking things about Ghosn’s time at Nissan is that the alliance [with Renault] actually looks like one, without the bloodletting that has characterized recent ‘mergers’ such as the Daimler-Chrysler and BMW-Rover fiascos.”
In his words: “You have some basic requirements in Japanese management. If you don’t fulfill these requirements, then things will be very difficult. If you fulfill them, you can achieve a lot. For example, when you are talking about changing established practices, you have to make people understand why you need change, how you are going to make these changes, and what is expected in a very quantified and pragmatic way.”
What happened next: Like Montezemolo, Ghosn is still in a similar position to where we left him: he’s the CEO of both Renault and Nissan. One of Ghosn’s greatest recent achievements is the creation of the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. Ghosn’s unwavering faith in the car earned him a role in the documentary The Revenge of the Electric Car.