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ANA Holdings Inc. said Friday it has named Senior Executive Vice President Shinya Katanozaka as new president and chief executive, replacing Shinichiro Ito, effective April 1.

Ito, 64, will in turn succeed Yoji Ohashi, 75, as chairman of the holding company for All Nippon Airways Co.

Ohashi will become an adviser.

Katanozaka, 59, who joined ANA in 1979 after graduating from University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Law, is a specialist in marketing, personnel and corporate planning.

Ito said at a press conference that he tapped Katanozaka because he is passionate about his work and can see things from a wide perspective.

“As we are in a stage of growth now, I feel a heavy responsibility,” the incoming CEO said.

Ito had to deal with a flurry of challenges after he assumed the top position in 2009. During his tenure, the airline was hit by the 2008 global financial crisis, followed by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, a territorial dispute between Japan and China and a monthslong grounding of Boeing 787 jets caused by battery problems.

Rebounding from the turbulence with drastic reforms, the carrier posted record revenue for the April-December period, supported by growth in international flights, its latest earnings report said.

The newly appointed top executive said strengthening code-sharing deals with partners and long-haul flights for international services are among his top priorities.

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