Chances are you have never heard of a cross-town acquaintance who hails from Portugal or Greece. Once you’ve been introduced, however, it’s hard to forget about his name, placed in the crowded airwaves. But Carlos Ghosn still has an air of mystery, something even more widely distributed since Nissan’s former chairman and CEO was placed on what essentially amounted to house arrest.
An unusual law put Mr. Ghosn in the position of having to live apart from his wife, four children and two teenage grandchildren. He spends hours locked away each day in the home Nissan leases for him, blocks from his office at the automaker’s global headquarters in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo. One of his signature assets in his global battle against his Japanese nemesis, Tomiichi Murata, was the trove of global shareholder information he would have been able to obtain upon returning to his office after lunch hours. Instead, a court-ordered alert was automatically triggered if Mr. Ghosn chose to visit the house where he used to be.
However, under Japan’s strict probation laws, Mr. Ghosn may have begun to suspect that something was amiss. In court testimony, he said he had received unexpected texts on his iPhone, complaining about his confinement. Hours after he had left his $2.7 million house, he received a text message calling him a “disgrace to humankind,” according to Mr. Ghosn. He had been granted an “unusual and secret leave.” He was also blindsided by what he said was the news that the Nissan board had voted to fire him as chairman and that his Japanese superior wanted him fired.
His final ignominy, however, was when he agreed to meet a group of reporters in person, having allegedly told them earlier in the day that he would not allow a print or broadcast interview. That, he told reporters, was a deal breaker because he would have to be cuffed and escorted out of the building. Upon seeing the whole invasion unfold, Mr. Ghosn just shrugged his shoulders, said Takahiro Sekido, a reporter for The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper who covered the trial and asked him what he could say to save his job.
Mr. Ghosn’s trial is believed to have ended in a guilty verdict Thursday for insider trading. The verdict is expected to be announced on June 19.
Read the full story at CNBC.
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