Sharp Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kozo Takahashi was approved by shareholders on Tuesday after facing calls for his resignation at the struggling Japanese television and display maker’s annual meeting.
“Letting the president stay is unacceptable,” one elderly stock-owner said at the meeting in Osaka, without giving his name. “I couldn’t have even dreamed that something like this would be happening. My retirement money is all gone.”
Takahashi defended the restructuring plans for the company, which has lost about $4.3 billion in market value since he took over in June 2013. Sharp announced job cuts and a reorganization last month and is struggling under debt that mounted after lower-cost rivals in South Korea and China undercut its core business making liquid crystal display TVs.
“These words from shareholders have deeply touched me,” Takahashi said at the meeting, his voice cracking with emotion. “We absolutely must become a company that has value in this world.”
Sharp plans to pare its workforce 10 percent after taking another lifeline from lenders. The company, which lost about $13 billion in the last four fiscal years and was on the brink of bankruptcy, is now selling its headquarters and shrinking its solar business.
The percentage of shareholders voting for and against keeping Takahashi as CEO was not announced at the meeting and will be available on Thursday, said company spokesman Heihachiro Ochiai.
Sharp’s shares were down 1.8 percent to ¥163 at close of trade in Tokyo on Tuesday after falling as low as ¥160 earlier. Sharp’s stock is down 40 percent this year, compared with a 19 percent gain in the Topix index.