Seven & I Holdings Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Toshifumi Suzuki said Thursday he plans to step down after the company's board of directors rejected personnel changes he supported, handing victory to activist investor Dan Loeb.

"I've decided to step down," Suzuki told a news conference Thursday afternoon, after the retail giant's board voted not to replace Ryuichi Isaka, 58, the president of its convenience store unit Seven-Eleven Japan Co.

Loeb last week warned against letting Suzuki position his 51-year-old son, Yasuhiro Suzuki, to succeed him. Loeb said Isaka, who was making most of the group's profit, should instead be a leading candidate.