Business / Corporate

Lawson COO Tamatsuka to become chain's next president

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

Major convenience store chain Lawson Inc. announced Monday that it will appoint Chief Operating Officer Genichi Tamatsuka president on May 1 and that CEO Takeshi Niinami will assume the post of chairman.

“Mr. Tamatsuka is the best person” to lead the company in terms of sharing corporate philosophy, achieving a certain level of performance and building a trust relationship with its franchises, Niinami said at a news conference in Tokyo.

Niinami, 55, has been at the helm of Japan’s second-largest convenience store chain since 2002 and had logged 10 consecutive years of growing operating profit until the business year ended in February 2013.

Tamatsuka, 51, who joined Lawson in 2010 after leading Fast Retailing Co., operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, as president from 2002 to 2005, said he would be expected to produce results.

He said his five business policies include efforts to further spread Lawson’s corporate philosophy among employees, promote trust with franchises and nurture 100 next-generation business leaders.

He also said the company would aim to achieve a group operating profit of ¥100 billion by the business year ending February 2018, compared with ¥66.2 billion in Lawson’s most recent business year.

Meanwhile, it was also announced that Sadanobu Takemasu of Mitsubishi Corp. will become a Lawson vice president in May. Mitsubishi Corp. is the convenience store chain’s largest shareholder, with a 32.1 percent stake.