He would "create new value," Takeshi Niinami said, if he becomes the president of venerable family-run brewer Suntory Holdings Ltd. later this year.

Hours earlier, Nobutada Saji, president of the 115-year-old company, had announced his intention to hand over the role to Niinami in October, pending approval from the board next month. Niinami is currently the chairman of convenience store operator Lawson Inc.

It's the first time Suntory has picked a leader from outside its founding family. Saji, 68, will remain as chairman, a post he also currently holds.