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Collision Course: Carlos Ghosn and the Culture Wars That Upended an Auto Empire

Hans Greimel, William Sposato

Named one of the Best Business Books of 2021 by The Wall Street Journal In Japan it's called the "Ghosn Shock"--the stunning arrest of Carlos Ghosn, the jet-setting CEO who saved Nissan and made it part of a global automotive empire. Even more shocking was his daring escape from Japan, packed into a box and put on a private jet to Lebanon after months spent in a Japanese detention center, subsisting on rice gruel.

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Book Information

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publish Date: 06/22/2021
Pages: 256
ISBN-13: 9781647820473
ISBN-10: 1647820472
Language: English

What We're Saying

December 14, 2021

Dylan Schleicher takes a look inside the best books in Narrative & Biography, the most quintessentially human-focused category in a year in which all books seemed more heavily focused on our shared humanity. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 18, 2021

"The authors who make up this year’s Porchlight Business Book of the Year Awards longlist gift us with a feast of new ideas to explore and, even more valuable, a renewed sense of possibility.” READ FULL DESCRIPTION

June 21, 2021

In Japan it's called the "Ghosn Shock"—the stunning arrest of Carlos Ghosn, the jet-setting CEO who saved Nissan and made it part of a global automotive empire. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

Named one of the Best Business Books of 2021 by The Wall Street Journal

In Japan it's called the "Ghosn Shock"--the stunning arrest of Carlos Ghosn, the jet-setting CEO who saved Nissan and made it part of a global automotive empire.

Even more shocking was his daring escape from Japan, packed into a box and put on a private jet to Lebanon after months spent in a Japanese detention center, subsisting on rice gruel.

This is the saga of what led to the Ghosn Shock and what was left in its wake. Ghosn spent two decades building a colossal partnership between Nissan and Renault that looked like a new model for a global business, but the alliance's shiny image fronted an unsteady, tense operation. Culture clashes, infighting among executives and engineers, dueling corporate traditions, and government maneuvering constantly threatened the venture.

Journalists Hans Greimel and William Sposato have followed the story up close, with access to key players, including Ghosn himself. Veteran Tokyo-based reporters, they have witnessed the end of Japan's bubble economy and attempts at opening Japan Inc. to the world. They've seen the fraying of keiretsu, Japan's traditional skein of business relationships, and covered numerous corporate scandals, of which the Ghosn Shock and Ghosn's subsequent escape stand above all.

Expertly reported, Collision Course explores the complex suspicions around what and who was really responsible for Ghosn's ouster and why one of the top executives in the world would risk everything to escape the country. It explains how economics, history, national interests, cultural politics, and hubris collided, crumpling the legacy of arguably the most important foreign businessman ever to set foot in Japan.

This gripping, unforgettable narrative, full of fascinating characters, serves as part cautionary tale, part object lesson, and part forewarning of the increasing complexity of doing global business in a nationalistic world.

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