Nissan’s Ghosn was top-earning executive in 2012, pocketing ¥988 million


Nissan Motor Co. President Carlos Ghosn was paid ¥988 million in fiscal 2012, reclaiming the title of top earner among executives of listed Japanese companies, Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd. said.

A total of 292 executives at 167 companies earned more than ¥100 million in the last fiscal year, close to the 295 executives at 172 companies seen in fiscal 2011, the research firm said.

In fiscal 2011, many of these 295 executives received huge retirement allowances. Toshio Kashio, the late former chairman of Casio Computer Co., was the leading earner, receiving some ¥1.333 billion.

In the last fiscal year, executives pocketing in excess of ¥100 million were employed mainly at automakers, which have benefited from the yen’s depreciation since late last year, and securities firms, which reported strong earnings on the back of a recovery in the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Industrial machinery maker Fanuc Corp. paid 13 executives over ¥100 million, the highest number among the companies surveyed, while Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. rewarded five of its executives with remuneration of more than ¥100 million. Three of them each took home over ¥700 million, ranking second, third and fourth in terms of the amount, Tokyo Shoko said.

Meanwhile, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. awarded more than ¥100 million to five executives, up from zero in fiscal 2011.

  • Spudator

    Yikes! Almost a cool one billion. But he deserves it. If Japan’s other business leaders had this guy’s talent and savvy, the country wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in. Never mind: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a man who doesn’t know anything about business, is here to save us all.

  • Sunny

    It is not about how much he earns, it is about how little the average people, including workers at Nissan, earn and for how long can they afford buying a car to supply Ghosn so generously.

  • Glen Douglas Brügge

    I honestly don’t think any executive is worth that much, no matter how brilliant he/she is. In addition they never work alone, but have teams of people assisting them in making business decisions. In addition, the little man at the bottom, the one making mere pennies executes the visions of those at the top – without them, nothing would happen. The wealth should be shared in a more altruistic manner.

    • Spudator

      The world is indeed an unfair place. It’s worth remembering, though, that if it weren’t for Ghosn, the middle managers and little men that you mention probably wouldn’t have any wealth to share in at all.

      When Ghosn took over at Nissan, this once-great company was a basket case headed for oblivion—a bit like some of Japan’s current once-great companies. Ghosn performed nothing short of a miracle with Nissan, transforming it from a corporate failure into a champion. (There’s actually a parallel between what Ghosn did with Nissan and what Steve Jobs did with Apple when he returned there from Pixar.) By getting Nissan to again produce cars that people wanted to buy, Ghosn rescued the company from eventual bankruptcy and its employees from the prospect of regular monthly visits to their local Hello Work.

      To understand the extent to which Ghosn saved everybody’s bacon, we need to look at Sony, a company that was also in trouble at the same time as Nissan. Sony’s management, on seeing the unbelievable results that Ghosn was achieving with Nissan, concluded that it must be due to some kind of magical gaijin power. (Doh!) So they decided that the only way to save Sony was to have some magical gaijin power of their own. Enter Howard Stringer, Sony’s first non-Japanese CEO.

      Well, we all know how the Stringer affair turned out: whereas Ghosn is simply a brilliantly competent businessman—and not a gaijin magician—Stringer was an absolutely crap businessman who failed to do anything to restore Sony’s fortunes. Because of this, Sony is now in bigger trouble than ever. It’s been closing factories, laying off workers, and selling off assets; and still it’s on the road to oblivion because nobody wants to buy its products.

      Unless Sony can find a CEO with Ghosn’s abilities, its days could well be numbered.