Carlos Ghosn said he had ‘no hesitation’ in declining offer to lead GM

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 12, 2010

The US government made an offer last year to Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA, to transfer to General Motors Co. Ghosn says now that he didn’t hesitate to decline the “gracious offer.”

In a statement, Ghosn explained that Renault and Nissan struggled during the worst crisis in the auto industry and he thought that leaving at that point would be “disruptive and disloyal to both companies.”

Ghosn also confirmed that the offer was made by Steven Rattner, who had led President Obama's task force to handle the reorganization of GM and Chrysler Group LLC.

Ghosn said that he continues to see benefits for his companies from an alliance with GM or another large automaker. Ghosn prefers to have alliances similar to the one entered in 1999 between Nissan and Renault rather than mergers.

He said that in 2006, this option was discussed with former GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner who later rejected it. Nonetheless, Ghosn believes that the potential was “clear and compelling” for the alliance and for GM.

Ghosn said that he had raised this subject again with Steve Rattner when they met last year amid the troubles at GM. In an interview with CNN, Ghosn said that the potential synergies that Nissan-Renault could identify from the deal were “colossal.”

He said that Rattner didn’t share his enthusiasm and didn’t have a “mutual appetite” – making any relationship unworkable. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: carlos ghosn, gm, ceo

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