January 11, 2020

Inside Carlos Ghosns great escape
The smartest insight and analysis, from all perspectives, rounded up from around the web:One of Japan's most celebrated businessmen has become "the world's most famous fugitive," said Matthew Campbell at Bloomberg. On Dec. 29, Carlos Ghosn, the ousted leader of Nissan and Renault, pulled off a cinematic escape while awaiting trial on charges related to executive compensation and use of company resources. Ghosn felt he had been railroaded and held "hostage" by the Japanese legal system; believing that "his prospects of proving his innocence in Japan were dismal," he evaded guards at his home in Tokyo and hopped a bullet train to Osaka before boarding a private jet bound for Beirut. Ghosn's lawyers had taken his travel documents, but Ghosn — who is a citizen of Brazil, France, and Lebanon — had two French passports and was allowed to keep one in a case with a combination lock that could be easily cracked. A group of "between 10 and 15 people" worked for months on a plan for extraction, said Nick Kostov at The Wall Street Journal, one that included help from a former U.S. Green Beret. They "visited at least 10 Japanese airports" to find the weakest security measures. "Luggage too large for X-ray scanning is supposed to be opened by security staff," but one "large black box, generally used for concert equipment," must have eluded their notice. Ghosn was inside, and breathing, thanks to holes drilled in the bottom.Apparently, that's what you buy the man under house arrest who has everything, said Jeffrey Goldfarb at BreakingViews​. This is a guy who once threw himself "a Marie Antoinette–themed wedding and birthday bash" in Versailles. Now he has decamped from Japan to Lebanon, one of the world's most corrupt ­countries — where, amazingly, he's living in a mansion owned by Nissan. Ghosn claims that "he was taken down by Japanese executives and government officials who feared he would shepherd a French takeover of Nissan," said Josh Barro at New York Magazine. That might well be true, but it doesn't mean he's not guilty. Ghosn is accused of circumventing Nissan's board to pay himself more than $80 million. He seems to have felt that his deal with the company he ran was essentially "I save Nissan, you give me lots of money," and no one should look too closely at the details. In some places, such as the United States, where CEOs are paid a lot more, that sum might have raised no eyebrows. But it was "way out of step with Japanese norms" and laws about CEO pay.Whatever Ghosn's shortcomings, he had kept "Nissan and Renault from coming apart at the seams," said Nick Kostov and Sean McLain at The Wall Street Journal. "Since Mr. Ghosn was arrested in November 2018, insiders at the companies said, the two partners, lacking a chief to impose order, have reverted to the corporate equivalent of a nasty and brutish state of nature." Now both companies look increasingly unviable; their shares are down by a third since Ghosn's arrest. Thank Japan's "notorious bureaucracy" for this fiasco, said William Pesek at The Washington Post. For all the talk of sweeping economic upgrades, Japan Inc. remains mired in obsolete ways of doing business, including a malicious "double standard — one for Japanese executives, another for non-Japanese" — that made Ghosn a target of the corporate establishment, which "had never seen a foreigner rise so high."This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, try the magazine for a month here.More stories from theweek.com The death of rock's master craftsman The booming stock market shows America is diseased Pelosi says delaying articles of impeachment achieved 'very positive' results
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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