Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn raked in $12.1 million last year, making him the highest paid executive in Japan, edging Sony CEO Howard Stringer by $1.4 million. Ghosn made another $1.7 million dollars from Nissan partner Renault SA, which he also leads. Nissan is Japan’s second-largest automaker and is responsible for 5.8 percent of the world’s new car market.
Ghosn’s total compensation, with stock options included, rose 10 percent from last year and was astronomically higher than CEOs of fellow domestic rivals Toyota and Honda. Toyota President Akio Toyoda pulled down $1.68 million last year while Honda CEO Takanobu Ito earned $1.6 million.
“If you compare our pay with Toyota’s or Honda’s, then obviously there are differences,” he told shareholders congregated near Nissan’s headquarters Wednesday. “We are following global metrics.”
While Ghosn is far and away the highest-earning CEO in the Japanese automotive industry, he’s far from the world’s highest-earning CEO running an automaker. That honor belongs to the Blue Oval’s leader in Dearborn, Alan Mulally, who earned $25.84 million last year in all. Fiat SpA and Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne was also above Ghosn, earning $17.55 million last year. Volkswagen AG’s Chairman of the Board of Management Martin Winterkorn also got paid more than Ghosn, earning $12.39 million last year. Just behind Ghosn is Daimler AG’s chairman Dieter Zetsche, who brought down $11.69 million last year, rounding out the industry’s top five highest-earning CEO’s in the automaking business.
Last week Ghosn announced a new six-year growth plan for a global market share and operating margin of eight percent this week. He was approved for an additional two-year term as Nissan president on Wednesday.