November 20, 2018
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PR impact when high-flying leaders crash

For 13 years in Asia, I was honored to provide communications counsel to the c-suites of many of the region’s leading global companies. These included Nissan, which was just rocked by the shock departure of its longtime leader Carlos Ghosn. Overnight I provided detailed comments to Campaign Asia-Pacific magazine of Hong Kong (via Executive Editor David Blecken who is in Tokyo where I used to be based):

“Ghosn was once among the world’s most charismatic CEO communicators,” observed Bob Pickard, principal of Toronto-based Signal Leadership Communication, who worked with Nissan in Japan and media-trained some of the company’s C-suite. “He was a powerful traditional public relations asset to Nissan, a signal personifier of a storied Japanese brand that he helped save from disaster. However, among the Japanese within his own organisation, there always was an undercurrent of resentment about Ghosn, whose celebrity status and superstar pay package rankled the rank-and-file who were culturally accustomed to a more self-effacing collectivist approach, with a less swashbuckling, individualistic style from the leader.” At the same time, Pickard suggested, Ghosn’s value as the face of Nissan had diminished. He added that Ghosn’s slick and impersonal style of engagement with the public was not ideal for the social-media age. “Ghosn’s most major impact on Nissan is in the past, and because he spread himself thinner at Nissan by taking the reins at the alliance with Renault in France, I think his departure is a sad but timely opportunity for a Nissan brand reboot and image modernisation,” Pickard said.

Read the complete article at this link.

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