• Kyodo

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Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said Friday it will appoint Tomoaki Kobayakawa, the 53-year-old head of the group’s electricity retail arm, as president, rejuvenating top management amid increasing pressure for corporate reform.

The operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant also named Takashi Kawamura, honorary chairman of Hitachi Ltd., as chairman to back the new president. The company said it will seek shareholder approval for the management reshuffle in June.

Kobayakawa, the president of Tepco Energy Partner Inc., will replace 64-year-old Naomi Hirose. Kobayakawa has been taking initiatives in response to liberalization in the electricity and gas sectors. He will now deal with the continuing fallout from the March 2011 triple core meltdown.

Hirose will take up the new post of vice chairman, which is not a member of the board, responsible for compensation for damage caused by the nuclear disaster.

At a board meeting Friday, the government, which holds a majority stake in the utility, acknowledged that Tepco needs to revamp its business revitalization plan and reshuffle management amid the soaring decommissioning and compensation costs, which are projected to hit about ¥22 trillion ($196.6 billion), nearly double the 2013 estimate.

Kawamura, a 77-year-old corporate heavyweight in the business community, is a member of the government panel discussing Tepco’s new reform plan and has been credited with Hitachi’s successful restructuring. He will replace Fumio Sudo, 76.

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