He gets in the elevator, takes a last look at the sheet held out by his cabinet director, and thanks her. “OK. Got it!” There’s just one more corridor to charge through, and he’s out there in the ring. He takes a deep breath. This morning, month of July, he’s addressing a hundred of Nissan’s top managers at their Yokohama headquarters near Tokyo.
There’ll be no soothing preamble. No notes. And he’s speaking directly in English. Straight to the point. “We’ve got to raise our market share and improve our profitability.” There’s a slight forward lean to his posture. His voice carries well. The eyebrows point upwards. “Look at the market,” he hammers out. “There are opportunities for us out there.” He juggles between results and targets. He hands over the microphone, takes a seat, listens attentively. Then he’s back.
Look at the market. There are opportunities for us out there.
Some people in the audience are feverishly jotting down notes. Others, just landed from France or Canada, are struggling to keep their eyes open.
The three clocks on the wall spell out the jet lag: it’s ten in the morning here, but just three at night in Paris, and barely dusk at Nissan’s stateside base in Nashville, Tennessee. “If there’s anything you don’t understand, please say so,” he concludes.
It looks like everyone has understood. He insists. Silence. He takes his leave and shoots out. There’s another meeting in ten minutes’ time.
The full article is available in the January edition of Vanity Fair France.