Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is on track to be the highest-paid executive in Japan for the fourth time in five years. Ghosn's salary and bonuses last year rang the register to the tune of $9.8 million (995 million yen), and when stock dividends are added to the equation, the exec's total pay crested a billion yen. That represents a 0.7-percent increase over his pay from the previous year. Ghosn earned an additional $3.1 million as CEO of Renault.

According to Bloomberg, Ghosn's compensation was announced at a shareholder's meeting in Japan, prompting an explanation from the CEO. "I understand the sensitivity of the issue," Ghosn said. "Being in Japan should not be a handicap to attract talent. We need the best minds, we need the best talents."

Few would argue with that assessment, we'd guess, but it doesn't answer the question of whether Ghosn is the most talented CEO in Japan. Akio Toyoda, head of Toyota in Japan, earned 230 yen (though, as a large shareholder in Toyota, Toyoda's dividend payments bring him closer to Ghosn) in compensation while steering his automaker to a profit that was five times higher than Nissan's. Honda President Takanobu Ito was paid the comparatively small sum of 150 million yen last year.

Executives in Japan, though, are generally not as well paid as those in other parts of the world. Ford's Alan Mulally, for example, earned more than twice what Ghosn did last year, at $23 million. GM CEO Mary Barra could receive as much as $14.4 million after her first full year at the helm. VW chief Martin Winterkorn was paid around $20 million for his services, followed by Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche's $11.2 million paycheck.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      A mere pittance compared to what CEOs and Wall Street tycoons take in the US.
      • 1 Year Ago
      That is still lower than american car manufacturer Ceos'.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Most US CEO's get bigger golden parachutes after running companies into the ground.
      Howard S
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mr. Bean!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Howard S didn't have to "out" him like that tho!
      Mr. Bader®
      • 1 Year Ago
      For a CEO who rescued nissan he deserve every penny
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mr. Bader®
        The whole article is baised , if you read bloomberg, mr toyoda granson makes above ghosn, and if you take toyoda other incentives in to account he make the same amount as ghosn.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is it me...or does the guy look like Mr. Bean? Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) is very much an automobile aficionado with probably as much money as Ghosn.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Running two car companies? Seems about right. Most of it is propbably paid in stock.
        Echelon Bob
        • 1 Year Ago
        It wouldn't have seemed right 20 years ago. Why does it suddenly seem "right" today? Just because other CEOs are also overpaid these days doesn't make the trend "right."
      404 not found
      • 1 Year Ago
      Only 230 yen for Toyoda? Poor fellow. :)
        • 1 Year Ago
        @404 not found
        Poor guy indeed! That's just about enough to buy a cup of coffee.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @404 not found
        Toyoda is running the family business. I'm more surprised that the president of Honda makes so little. Even with stock and other perks ~$150k is pitifully little for such a huge company. How many American CEOs could we get to accept that. Maybe they could afford to stop outsourcing everything while raising prices at the same time.
      • 1 Year Ago
      An American CEO wouldn't even wreck a company for those peanuts.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Judo Chop!
      • 1 Year Ago
      with the ugliest French owned and designed cars..
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well at least he rescued Nissan from bankruptcy.
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