Nissan CEO Ghosn Paid $11.5 Million as Company Posted Record Sales

Addressing the annual shareholder meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday, Nissan Motor Company CEO Carlos Ghosn revealed that his compensation for the last fiscal year totaled 982 million yen ($11.46 million). That compensation included salary and stock options in Nissan.

According to Bloomberg, the 57-year-old Ghosn now leads the field as the most highly compensated head of a Japanese company to release compensation data. On Tuesday, Sony Corporation announced that chairman Howard Stringer received salary, a bonus and stock options totaling about 863 million yen for the company’s last fiscal year.

All publically traded Japanese companies that earn upwards of 100 million yen annually are required by law to disclose the compensation paid to their executives.

Ghosn also received about $1.7 million in compensation from his role as CEO of Nissan’s alliance partner Renault SA last year.

According to U.S. based benefits consulting firm Towers Watson & Company, the average annual compensation for heads of global automotive companies is about $15.3 million.

Last year, Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally was the highest paid auto boss, receiving approximately $26.5 million in compensation.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally earned the most among auto manufacturers with about $26.5 million in 2010. Publicly traded Japanese companies are required by financial regulations to disclose compensation for executives who earn more than 100 million yen.

Analyst Takeshi Miyao of the Tokyo-based automotive consultancy firm Carnorama says, “Western companies see the need to provide higher incentives to top management than Japanese companies do. They understand that well-performing management leads to good earnings results and they maintain adequate pay to make sure top managers don’t leave for another company.”

Toyota Motor Corporation president, and grandson of the company’s founder, Akio Toyoda received 136 million yen in compensation for the fiscal year ending on March 31, including a bonus of 24 million yen. Honda Motor Company president Takanobu Ito received compensation totaling 130 million yen for the same period.

During the last fiscal year, Nissan saw its global vehicle sales increase by 19 percent to nearly 4.2 million units and its global market share rise to 5.8 percent, up 0.3 percentage points from the previous year.

For the first quarter of this year, Nissan reported 31 billion yen in net income and global vehicle sales totaling 1.2 million units.

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