Posted on Jul 28, 2020 at 6:35 p.m.Updated Jul 29, 2020 at 5:28 p.m.
Say to truth. Adjust his accounts. Telling the secret behind the scenes of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance … but also the shock of the arrest of November 19, 2018. Before the incredible escape, in a trunk, from Japan, where he was under house arrest, on the night of December 29 to 30, 2019, like a contemporary Arsène Lupine …
This is the project which Carlos Ghosn, the deposed CEO of Renault-Nissan, has tackled, via the upcoming publication, with four months apart, of two books, one in the form of a testimony, the other of atypical diary.
At first glance, the approach of the deposed CEO resembles, at choice, an operation of millimeter communication … or the determination of a man to restore his honor. The former CEO, communicated by the Image 7 firm, has always declared himself innocent of the accusations of misuse of corporate assets and tax evasion to which he is subject.
“A lot of wrong things”
Entitled “The time of truth, Carlos Ghosn speaks”, the first book will appear on November 4 by Grasset (Hachette), a publishing house familiar with literary prizes. It will be co-signed with Philippe Riès, former journalist at AFP and already co-author with Carlos Ghosn of his life story “Citizen of the world”, also published by Grasset in 2003.
“Things were done very simply, without bidding or competition”, recalls Olivier Nora, CEO of Grasset. «Philippe Riès visited me after Carlos Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo and the first charges fell telling me : ‘cahead case is not credible, I have the impression that there are a lot of false things going around …‘ I advised him to get in touch with him and see if he would be ready to speak. “
The two men manage to communicate and attack this book ” or, continues Olivier Nora, he returns to the charges against him in Japan which have been presented in a false way to the rest of the world. He evokes in particular the conditions of his arrest and his detention, the smear campaign to which certain Anglo-Saxon firms have engaged (including the American Latham & Watkins which Nissan had ordered an internal investigation, Editor’s note), as well as the desire to the French State to increase its participation in the capital of Renault-Nissan, at the risk of provoking nationalist reactions in Japan. Beyond the plot of which he dismantles the cogs and the alleged embezzlement from which he defends himself, he explains what his ambitions were for a group, of which he had made the world’s leading car manufacturer and which is plunged into a deep crisis, in moment when this industry faces an unprecedented technological revolution.»
Carlos Ghosn retained the rights for the English, Japanese and Arabic languages. For the other languages, Grasset is in charge. The advance is “Symbolic”.
Four months later, in March 2021, the second part of the memories of the former CEO will be released by Editions de L’Observatoire (Humensis), following a competition between its director, Muriel Beyer, editor of Nicolas Sarkozy, in Hachette and Editis. Here again, no auction but relational and a profit “Very reasonable”. Even if other market players evoke a check for an amount “considerable”.
TV series in perspective
This time, it is the intimate part of the man, which will be exposed through this four-handed journal of 350 pages, published in 20,000 copies and already pre-sold in Arabic, in Japan and in Germany. Carlos Ghosn talks about his arrest, his conditions of detention, the phases of anger and despair in which he oscillates. His wife Carole, for her part, recounts the fight outside. A documentary and a series adapted from this book – which could be available on Netflix or Amazon Prime – are under study.
Finally, another series is on the way. Adapted from the book “Le Fugitif: les secrets de Carlos Ghosn” (Stock) by Yann Rousseau, correspondent for “Echos” in Tokyo and Régis Arnaud, his alter ego at “Figaro”, it will be produced by Federation Entertainment, the company of Pascal Breton, at the origin of “Versailles” and having participated in the production of the “Bureau des Légendes” on Canal +. Already in writing, it should see the light of day in 2021, in the form of a mini-series in six episodes. Content in perspective … But it is not so common for the CEO of a listed company to offer such romantic material.