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Founder wants to retake helm of Cookpad, overhaul management

Staff Report

Cookpad, Japan’s most popular recipe-sharing website, has been apparently rocked by internal strife, with its founder proposing a reshuffle of board members due to differences in management policy.

Media reports said Cookpad founder Akimitsu Sano, who is currently a board member holding a 43.58 percent voting right, has demanded an overhaul of the current management due to its “lack of vision” and proposed to run the company again by himself to steer its course back to its core business.

According to the reports, Sano proposed his return to the company helm in November. In the latest move, he has also pitched replacements of eight board members, including himself, a move likely to be put on the table at a shareholders’ meeting in March.

In his proposal, Sano accused the current management of “deviating from its core mission to business areas unrelated with cooking,” according to the reports. In addition, Sano believes the current management isn’t doing enough to focus on overseas business, the reports said.

Sano started a predecessor to Cookpad in 1997 and renamed it Cookpad in 1999. In 2009, the company was listed on the Mothers market on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He left the position of company president in 2012 to focus on its global strategy and technological innovations.