Matsushita selects new president

OSAKA — Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said Tuesday that it has selected Senior Managing Director Kunio Nakamura, 60, to succeed President Yoichi Morishita.

Morishita, 65, will become chairman of the board with the right to represent the consumer electronics maker.

The current chairman, Masaharu Matsushita, 87, will become honorary chairman.

Nakamura joined Matsushita Electric Industrial in 1962 upon graduation from the economics department of Osaka University. He has been president since June 1997.

Masayuki Matsushita, a vice president and the 54-year-old grandson of the late Konosuke Matsushita, founder of the company, had earlier been regarded as Morishita’s likely successor. Instead, he will assume the post of vice chairman with the right to represent the company.

The consumer electronics giant, known for the “National” and “Panasonic” brands, is believed to have turned to Nakamura because of his familiarity with high-technology products.

Matsushita Electric Industrial plans to promote these areas in a bid to overcome the difficult business climate.

The changes will be adopted at a board meeting in late June, company officials said.