Carlos Ghosn, one of the best-known leaders in the automotive industry, has announced that he will step down as Nissan Motor's president and CEO, effective April 1. The hugely successful Mr Ghosn will remain with the company as chairman to oversee a wider group of carmakers that, in addition to Nissan, includes France's Renault and Japan's Mitsubishi Motors. Ghosn told reporters: "I'm stepping down as the CEO because it's the right moment and I have the right team. I think after 16 years as CEO and 18 years taking care 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, after Renault purchased a stake in the Japanese automaker. He became president in 2000 and was named CEO the following year. He is credited with turning around Nissan by producing attractive new cars and models and cutting costs. His cost-cutting strategies earned him the nickname "The Cost Killer". Following the turnaround of Nissan, Fortune magazine awarded him Asia Businessman of the Year in 2002. A year later, the magazine named him as one of the 10 most powerful people in business outside the USA. He became a celebrity in Japan, where his life story has been depicted in a manga comic book.