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The Gaijin with two jobs

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(CNN) -- Not many businessmen can claim the superstar status of Carlos Ghosn. But then not many businessmen are in charge of not one, but two of the world's biggest car makers.

Brazilian-born Ghosn has not always been a superstar in Japan. When he arrived in Tokyo in 1999 to revive the fortunes of Nissan, he took plenty of flak after slashing more than 20,000 jobs and closing assembly plants.

But when his "Nissan Revival Plan" worked -- he resurrected the car maker from near bankruptcy a year earlier than scheduled -- he became a hero.

These days Ghosn gets the sort of adulation in Japan normally reserved for rock stars and football players. He is often mobbed by fans in search of an autograph and has even been portrayed as a manga comic book superhero.

His face has graced the covers of Japanese business magazines, he is the subject of a handful of books and has written his own.

And now, while staying at the helm of Nissan, he has taken the reins of French car company Renault, which owns 44 percent of Nissan.

Born inon March 9, 1954, to Lebanese parents, Ghosn is the quintessential international businessman.

Fluent in five languages -- with Japanese quickly becoming his sixth -- his family moved to Lebanon when he was a toddler. He did his university schooling in France, where he is a citizen.

His career in the auto industry began in 1978 at Europe's largest tiremaker, Michelin, where he worked for 18 years, moving up the ranks from plant manager to chief operating officer.

He headed both Michelin's South American and North American units during his tenure with the company, achieving success at both. He joined Renault in 1996 as executive vice president, and was sent to Japan to revive Nissan three years later.

The man dubbed "Samurai" and "Le Cost Killer" for his reputation for restructuring companies is not only CEO and president of Nissan and Renault, he is also on the board of Alcoa, Sony and IBM.

Running two of the world's biggest car companies means splitting his time between Paris and Tokyo and fitting in meetings, visits to plants and dealerships, and attending car shows throughout the world whenever time permits.

But it is not all business for Ghosn. Married to wife Rita, whom he met 22 years ago in France, the couple have four children: Caroline, who studies at Stanford University, Nadine, Maya and Anthony. He keeps workaholic hours but it well-known for making time to spend with his family.

He's revived the fortunes of Japan's second biggest car maker, was named Man of the Year in 2002 by French magazine Le Journal de l'Automobile and Businessman of the Year by Fortune magazine the same year.

But he has said his most cherished titled is being named Father of the Year by a Japanese community group in 2001.

Carlos Ghosn remains a family man, despite holding down two of the biggest jobs in the car industry.

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