They said a foreign CEO could never survive the insular culture of Japanese business. Then this quintessential global leader born in Brazil of Lebanese parents and educated in France was dispatched by Renault to rescue its stake in Nissan. Ghosn, 47, briskly closed plants, shed workers, hired stylish new auto designers and took the company from a $5.6 billion loss in 2000 to this year's $2.5 billion profit. Ghosn's methods are openly copied, the story of Nissan's revival is a best seller in Japan, and Ghosn was named that country's "Father of the Year."
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