• Kyodo News


Aeon Co. board member Yoshiharu Kawato became chairman of Daiei Inc. on Thursday to help speed up the retailer’s restructuring efforts, which are being led by Aeon.

Kawato assumed the post at a Daiei board meeting shortly after Daiei shareholders endorsed his appointment. He replaced Fumiko Hayashi, who became vice chairwoman of Daiei.

Kawato, who has been in the retail industry for more than 40 years, led the growth of Aeon, the top-ranked operator of general merchandise stores in Japan, with a strategy of opening large shopping malls. Before becoming Daiei chairman, he concurrently served as an Aeon board member and president of Aeon Mall Co.

Aeon Senior Vice President Akinori Yamashita also joined the new Daiei management team as a managing director. Daiei also accepted an auditor from Aeon.

Earlier this year, the two companies formed a capital and business tieup.

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