Asahi Kasei chief to step down over foundation piling scandal


Asahi Kasei Corp. President Toshio Asano plans to step down to take responsibility for a piling data fabrication scandal involving a subsidiary, informed sources said Sunday.

Chief Financial Officer Hideki Kobori, 61, is expected to replace Asano, 63, as president of the major chemicals maker, the sources said.

Asahi Kasei Construction Materials Corp. was recently found to have fabricated data on 360 of the 3,052 piling projects it conducted over the past 10 years, a scandal that dealt a blow to Asahi Kasei’s image. Despite being a chemical giant, Asahi Kasei is also known for building quality houses under the Hebel Haus brand.

The personnel change comes as the parent’s new midterm business plan goes into force in April.

Asano took the helm of Asahi Kasei in April 2014 as the first president selected from the health care division. Kobori comes from the electronics materials division.