Carlos Ghosn, the well-known automotive industry leader, said he will step down as Nissan Motor's president and CEO from April 1. The hugely successful Mr Ghosn will stay with Nissan as chairman. He will look after a group of carmakers that includes Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi. Ghosn told reporters: "I'm stepping down…because it's the right moment and I have the right team. I think after 16 years as CEO…of Nissan, I can say today that what I can bring to Nissan, I have already brought." He added: "Nissan is profitable, financially healthy, with a clear strategy."
Carlos Ghosn joined Nissan as Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 1999. He became president in 2000 and CEO the following year. He turned Nissan around by producing attractive new cars and models. His cost-cutting strategies earned him the nickname "The Cost Killer". Following Nissan's turnaround, Fortune magazine named him as Asia Businessman of the Year in 2002. A year later, the magazine said he was one of the 10 most powerful people in business outside the USA. He became a celebrity in Japan, where his life story was told in a manga comic book.