https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2021/06/17/the-rise-and-fall-of-carlos-ghosn

The rise and fall of Carlos Ghosn
卡洛斯・戈恩的大起大落

A new book explains the spectacular implosion of his relationship with Nissan

一本新书解释了他与日产的惊天大决裂

THE MAIN events of the scandal that brought down Carlos Ghosn, whose restless energy made other globetrotting bosses look work-shy, are appropriately book-ended by flights on corporate jets. The drama began with grainy television footage of Japanese prosecutors boarding the plane that delivered an unwitting Mr Ghosn to his arrest in Tokyo in November 2018. It culminated in his skipping bail on several charges of financial impropriety around a year later. Stripped of his leadership of a giant conglomerate, he was smuggled out of Japan on another private jet, this time hidden in a box.

跟卡洛斯・戈恩(Carlos Ghosn)闲不住的劲头比,其他满世界飞的老板都是懒人。他因丑闻倒台,而其中主要事件的起止恰好都发生在公务机上。这场大戏始于一段模糊的电视画面:2018 年 11 月在东京,日本检方登上飞机,逮捕了一脸茫然的戈恩。大约一年后,面对几项金融不当行为指控的他弃保潜逃,这出戏达到了高潮。他被剥夺了一家巨型企业集团的领导权,被用另一架私人飞机偷送出日本,这次是躲在一个箱子里。

Because of that clandestine escape,“Collision Course”by Hans Greimel and William Sposato, two Tokyo-based journalists, at times reads like a spy thriller. But their main aim and achievement is to give the clearest account yet of the deep-rooted causes of Mr Ghosn’s predicament. Underpinning the entire tale—and Mr Ghosn’s status as a corporate superstar—was Renault’s rescue in 1999 of near-bankrupt Nissan, an alliance, later joined by Mitsubishi, which he built into the world’s biggest carmaker.

由于那次秘密逃亡,汉斯・格雷梅尔(Hans Greimel)和威廉・斯波萨托(William Sposato)这两位驻东京记者的《迎头相撞》(Collision Course)有时读起来就像一部惊悚间谍小说。但他们的主要目标是对戈恩陷入如此困境的深层原因给出迄今为止最清晰的解释。他们做到了。为整个故事——以及戈恩的企业界超级明星地位——奠定基础的是雷诺在 1999 年对濒临破产的日产出手相救。后来三菱也加入了进来,戈恩将这个联盟打造成为世界最大的汽车制造商。

The terms of Nissan’s bail-out gave Renault, in which the French government has a large shareholding, control of the Japanese firm, but Nissan got no say over Renault in return. The alliance stopped short of a full merger, which, in the car industry, had usually ended in disaster. This arrangement led to seething resentment at Nissan, which gradually became the bigger company and the main source of profits. Mr Ghosn kept a lid on the tensions between the two carmakers—their engineers rarely agreed on anything—through the force of his personality.

对日产的纾困条款让雷诺(法国政府持有其大量股份)得到了这家日本公司的控制权,但反过来日产在雷诺的问题上没有发言权。这个联盟倒还没有达到全面合并的地步,在汽车行业里全面合并通常都以灾难告终。这种安排导致日产极度不满,而它已逐渐成为两家公司中更大的那家和主要的利润来源。戈恩凭借自己的强势个性压制住两家汽车制造商之间的紧张关系——两家的工程师很少能就什么事达成一致。

But they boiled over as Mr Ghosn sought, at the French government’s behest, to make the alliance“irreversible”。Nissan read this as code for a full merger that would cement Gallic dominance. This, claims Mr Ghosn, led some in Nissan to manufacture charges in order to get rid of him. Nissan’s version is that he was a greedy tyrant who regarded the Japanese firm as a personal bank account. This claim gained more credence when French prosecutors also began an investigation of Mr Ghosn, including into the funding of a lavish party thrown for his wife’s birthday at the palace of Versailles—a far cry from his Japanese prison cell, where a bowl of rice gruel counted as luxury.

但是,当戈恩在法国政府的授意下寻求让联盟「不可逆转」时,这种紧张关系爆发了。日产将戈恩的意图解读为全面合并的信号,而这会加强法国人的主导地位。戈恩声称这促使日产的一些人为了踢走他而捏造罪名。而日产的说法是戈恩是个贪婪的暴君,把日产当成了个人银行账户。当法国检方也开始调查戈恩时,日产的这个说法变得更加可信了。调查的内容包括为庆祝戈恩妻子的生日而在凡尔赛宫举办的一场奢华派对的资金来源——当时的盛景与戈恩在日本牢房的光景相比是天差地别,在那里,一碗稀饭都算得上奢侈品了。

The authors point to a clash of corporate cultures as the reason he may have sought to circumvent pay disclosure using a deferred-pay scheme, which Nissan claimed broke the law. In Japan and France CEOs are paid far Less than equivalent American bosses; doubtless he thought his skills should be properly rewarded by global standards. The competing narratives were never aired in court, though, after Japan’s criminal-justice system—which relies on prolonged incarceration and intense interrogation to obtain a confession—collided with Mr Ghosn’s stubborn refusal to admit any wrongdoing. Eventually released on bail, he fled in the belief that he would not receive a fair trial and would remain under house arrest for years.

戈恩可能试图利用延期支付方案来规避薪酬披露,日产称这违反了法律。两位作者指出,戈恩此举背后的原因是企业文化冲突。在日本和法国,首席执行官的工资远低于同等级别的美国老板;他无疑认为自己的本领理应获得符合全球标准的恰当回报。然而,当日本的刑事司法系统(靠长期监禁和高强度的审讯来获得供词)撞上拒不认罪的戈恩,这些对立的说法始终没有在法庭上碰一碰。他最终被保释,但认为自己不会得到公正的审判,还会被软禁多年,于是出逃。

Some readers may be dismayed by the authors’reluctance to speculate on the verdict should the trial have gone ahead (they conclude that, given the“arcane”accusations of financial irregularities, a“ruling is likely to be just as abstruse”). But the end result is that Mr Ghosn remains trapped, these days in Lebanon, where he is safe from the international arrest warrants that might be executed should he board any more corporate jets. Meanwhile the alliance he created, languishing without its leader, may yet break apart.

两位作者不愿推测如果当时审讯正常推进的话会做出怎样的裁决,部分读者对此可能会感到失望(作者们得出结论称,鉴于戈恩受到的财务违规指控如此「难懂」,「判决很可能会同样玄奥」)。但最终的结果是戈恩目前仍被困在黎巴嫩,在那里国际逮捕令不能对他做什么,但如果他再登上公务班机的话,逮捕令可能就会执行。与此同时,他创建的联盟在没有领袖的情况下日渐松垮,有分裂的可能

Published since September 1843 to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.”

我们应该学会去理解别人的观点,不仅仅是服从和被告知。

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我们应该学会去理解别人的观点,不仅仅是服从和被告知。

我们应该学会去理解别人的观点,不仅仅是服从和被告知。
我们应该学会去理解别人的观点,不仅仅是服从和被告知。
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