It turned out that Carlos Ghosn was not the perfect CEO after all.
On the run for nearly five years and living in exile in Lebanon for part of that time, Ghosn’s story — he was the former global chief of Nissan and Renault — and his subsequent dramatic escape from Japan is the stuff that … well, documentaries are made of.
On August 25, Wanted: The Escape of Carlos Ghosn, a series in four parts, will begin streaming on Apple TV+.
This new screen story (there have been others previously) hones in on his rise to fame, his multiple arrests for financial misdeeds and his made-for-Hollywood escape from Japan. Ghost had contacted a former Green Beret and was hustled out of the country by private jet in December, 2019, hidden in a musical instrument box. originally designed to hold a trombone.
Ghosn has lived in Lebanon, where he has citizenship, ever since. To this point Lebanon has refused requests to extradite him.
The Apple TV+ documentary will cover all of this, with never-before-seen footage and interviews. Mike Taylor, the former Green Beret who helped Ghosn escape, will tell his side of the story alongside Ghosn and others. The film has been executive produced by James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin from Formula 1: Drive to Survive.
Ghosn’s background puts perspective on the story. He worked for 18 years with Michelin North America, where he was ultimately appointed as chief executive in 1990. In 1996, he joined Renault, and played a pivotal role in the alliance formed between Renault and Nissan. In mid-2001, he was appointed as Nissan’s new chief executive, and by 2005 he was running both Nissan and Renault.
But in 2018 he was arrested at the Tokyo International Airport on allegations of under-reporting his salary and misusing company assets. He was subsequently arrested three more times on similar charges. He was held in and out of Japanese prison through much of 2019 before he was released on bail that April, eight months before his escape.
Ghosn recently filed a lawsuit against Nissan, seeking more than $1 billion from the company. He accuses the automaker and others of defamation and fabricating evidence.