Seibu Railway Co. said Thursday that senior managing director Terumasa Koyanagi has been promoted to president, succeeding Hiroyuki Toda, who became a board member to take responsibility for a payoff scandal that erupted last month.
Seibu Railway Chairman Yoshiaki Tsutsumi was untouched by the reshuffle. Tsutsumi is the effective owner of the railway and the core of the Seibu Railway group of about 100 companies.
March 1, three executives of the railway were arrested on suspicion of giving benefits worth 880 million yen to a “sokaiya” corporate extortionist who had an equity stake in the company. The three were indicted March 19.
On March 22, the company announced punitive steps, including demotion of the executives involved and salary cuts for top managers, including a 20 percent cut for Toda for one year. Business leaders criticized the steps.
On Thursday, Seibu Railway’s public relations officials said the company wanted to make the management’s responsibility clearer by the latest steps, which include depriving the three executives of positions on the board of directors.
Koyanagi, 63, a former official of the predecessor of the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry, became a managing director of Seibu Railway in 1993 and a senior managing director in June 2003.