DETROIT -- Globetrotting Carlos Ghosn, the time-zone traveling dual CEO of France’s Renault and Japan’s Nissan Motor Co., is no stranger to the misery of jet lag -- splitting his time between Europe and Asia -- and everywhere in between.
But what time trip really sets his head spinning?
“The worst jet lag is Tokyo-New York or Tokyo-Detroit,” Ghosn said of the two Eastern Time Zone destinations on the eve of the Detroit auto show. “It’s always tough.”
The hard part, he said, is stepping off the plane and immediately being thrown into meetings with locals who expect you to be just as cogent and clear-eyed as they are.
“The first day, no matter what, there is a moment where you are not very clear,” he said.
How does he cope after all these years as a platinum diamond prestige frequent flier?
“There is no medicine, there is no trick,” he said. “I’ve tried everything. Nothing works.”
Purported miracle drugs are most definitely a sham, he says.
“You have 24 hours, 48 hours relief, and then you pay after. You postpone the punishment,” he said. “That’s the price to pay for being on different continents at the same time and managing different companies. But it’s OK, you’re going to have to get used to it.”
Those sleepless nights and sleepy days are one reason Ghosn recommends appointing two chief executives to replace him at Nissan and Renault when he eventually retires.
“That’s why I’m saying I would not recommend one person managing two companies.”