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KDDI Corp. announced Tuesday that Vice President and Representative Board Director Tadashi Onodera will become president, replacing Yusai Okuyama, in late June, when the company will hold a shareholders’ meeting.

Okuyama will become vice chairman and remain a representative director of the board, while current Chairmen Emeritus Kazuo Inamori and Shoichiro Toyoda will leave the board to become top advisers to the company.

Okuyama said he decided to step down to renew the top management of the firm in June, when the company plans to introduce an operating officer system to drastically reduce board directors from the current 53 to less than 15.

The nation’s No. 2 telecom firm was born through the merger of DDI Corp., KDD Corp. and Ido Corp. last October, with 53 executives of the three companies remaining on the board of the new firm.

“I’m 68 and soon will be 70. I decided to infuse new blood to the management,” Okuyama said.

Onodera, 53, currently heads the firm’s cellular phone business, one of the two main areas on which KDDI Corp. is focusing its corporate resources. The other is Internet-related business.

Onodera, who was at Nippon Telephone and Telegram Public Corp., the predecessor of NTT Corp., joined DDI Corp. in 1984 and has been vice president since 1997.

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