What to Expect as Carlos Ghosn Speaks


For the first time since he fled Japan more than a week ago, Carlos Ghosn wants to tell his story to the public.

Mr. Ghosn, the former head of an auto empire that spanned continents, was facing charges of financial wrongdoing and had been under house arrest in Tokyo since spring. On Wednesday, in what appears to be a choreographed event for members of the news media in Beirut, the Lebanese capital city where he has since taken refuge, Mr. Ghosn is expected to portray himself as the victim of a rigged justice system and a corporate coup by disloyal underlings.

In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Ghosn’s wife, Carole, described the coming news conference as “the most important speech of his whole life.”

Mr. Ghosn, 65, a celebrity in Japan and a hero to many in Lebanon, oversaw a turnaround at Nissan starting in the late 1990s and had the rare position of running two major companies simultaneously: Nissan and France’s Renault.

Born in Brazil and raised in Lebanon, Mr. Ghosn attended some of France’s best schools, the Lycée Saint-Louis and the École Polytechnique. He started his career at the tire maker Michelin and became head of the company’s North American operations. He lived in Greenville, S.C., before joining Renault as an executive in the 1990s.

But his career collapsed in late 2018, when he was arrested by the Japanese authorities and later charged with underreporting his compensation and shifting personal financial losses to Nissan. Nissan had also been indicted on charges of improperly reporting Mr. Ghosn’s income — and had said it would cooperate with prosecutors.

Throughout the more than 13 months since he was first arrested, Mr. Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing.

Mr. Ghosn’s escape late last month seemed to be written by Hollywood screenwriters — and, in fact, the fallen auto executive met with a Hollywood producer before his escape.

Accompanied by a former United States Green Beret turned security consultant, Mr. Ghosn was flown from Osaka to Istanbul and then to Beirut, evading authorities in at least two countries and crossing borders.

The news conference is expected to begin at 8 a.m. Eastern time, or 3 p.m. in Beirut. Check back here for updates.


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