Carlos Ghosn received a salary and bonus of $12.5 million or JPY987 million from Nissan Motor Co. for the past fiscal year, the carmaker’s chief executive told the company’s annual shareholders' meeting in Yokohama today. Although Ghosn’s large paycheck represents only a 0.5 percent rise in compensation at Nissan, it effectively makes him Japan's highest-paid executive.
It, however, fell short of making Ghosn as the first chief executive of a Japanese company to receive more than JPY1 billion in compensation, as investors are more concerned with his tenure than the terms of his compensation.
Nissan justified the higher pay for Ghosn as well for other company executives, saying the compensation package for its global chief should not be compared with the lower ones received by Japanese chief executives, but should be rather compared with the pay given to CEOs of other global industrial companies like Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG.
According to Nissan, its board, on advice from consulting firm Towers Watson, had used the paychecks of CEOs of other major industrial companies with global operations as benchmark for determining Ghosn’s pay.
The disclosed paycheck for Ghosn does not include stock options he was granted in Nissan. It also does not include his compensation as chief executive of Renault, Nissan's alliance partner.
Renault paid Ghosn EUR1.2 million for leading the carmaker in 2010. Ghosn took control of Nissan in 2001 and was heavily credited for Nissan’s quick comeback from the effects of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.