March 26, 2019

Bloomberg – Carlos Ghosn’s Unusual Nissan Perk: $601,000 Stanford Tuition Fees for His Kids

By Ania Nussbaum and Carol Matlack

  • Highly unusual’ perk would have been worth at least $601,000
  • Fallen auto titan’s four children attended elite U.S. college

Nissan Motor Co. paid tuition for all four of ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn’s children when they attended Stanford University between 2004 and 2015, according to people familiar with the matter.

The perk was part of Ghosn’s employment contract from 1999, and when he was hired as chief executive officer of the Japanese carmaker, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. The benefit, which isn’t common among top executives, would have been worth at least $601,000, according to fee schedules published by Stanford during the years his children were enrolled.

In a statement, Nissan declined to comment on the details of executive compensation packages. A spokesman for the family said Ghosn’s contract was approved by Nissan and also included payment of pre-university tuition fees. The children graduated at or near the top of their high school classes, he said. A spokesman for Stanford in California said U.S. law prevented the university from giving out information about tuition payments.

Ghosn, 65, has been charged in Japan with under-reporting his income by tens of millions of dollars at Nissan and misusing company funds. He has denied wrongdoing and is awaiting trial on bail after spending 108 days in a Tokyo prison. The Stanford tuition adds to a list of lavish extras Ghosn enjoyed as the head of Nissan and its alliance partners Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., including luxury residences on four continents and a wedding party at the Chateau of Versailles.

‘Highly Unusual’

The advantage of wealth in gaining access to elite U.S. universities has emerged as a hot topic following recent allegations that rich parents bribed university administrators and coaches at top schools to gain admission for their children.

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