Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn earned more than $10 million (R106m) last year, putting him on track to become the best-paid Japan executive for the fourth time in five years.

Ghosn was paid a total of ¥995m (R103m) in salary and bonuses for the fiscal year to March, a rise of 0.7 percent from a year earlier, he said yesterday. Including dividends, his total compensation rises to more than ¥1 billion.

Among the few foreigners leading a Japanese firm, Ghosn earned five times what Toyota president Akio Toyoda did in 2012 despite Ghosn running a car maker with about a third the profit. Last year, he steered Nissan to the smallest profit increase among Japanese car makers aside from Daihatsu, hurt by increased US incentive spending and recall costs.

Ghosn, who also heads Renault, was the top-paid boss in Japan in three of the four years since 2010, when the country’s financial regulator began requiring disclosures by publicly traded firms of compensations exceeding ¥100m, Tokyo Shoko Research revealed.

In 2012, Ghosn earned ¥988m, compared with ¥184m for Toyota’s president and ¥145m for Honda president Takanobu Ito.

Despite being the best-paid executive of a Japanese firm, Ghosn is out-earned by his peers at US and European car makers. – Bloomberg