Monday, Dec. 03, 2001

Carlos Ghosn

Nissan CEO

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."