Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of Nissan and Renault, insists he doesn't want the top job at General Motors. And GM's chief executive Rick Wagoner says he has no intention of leaving his job even if the company forms a financial partnership with the French and Japanese automakers. The companies are exploring the alliance at the urging of GM's biggest individual shareholder, Kirk Kerkorian. The 89-year-old Kerkorian is a big fan of Ghosn, who is credited with reviving both Nissan and Renault. Kerkorian might want Ghosn to run GM, too, but he'd get a fight from Wagoner and the GM board.
I'm thinking there could be another reason why Ghosn won't take over: the commute. He already splits his Renault and Nissan duties: two weeks a month in Paris, ten days in Tokyo, along with some time each month in the U.S. as head of Nissan's North American operations. He's on his Gulfstream corporate jet about 48 hours a month. Now imagine if he tried to add the big gig in Detroit to the mix. He'd be in the air nearly as much as on the ground. And that's probably no way for an auto executive to live. Now if he's interested in a troubled airline... well, we have a few over here that could use a little help.