Toshiba Corp. Chief Executive Officer Nobuaki Kurumatani will add the title of president effective April, part of a revamp among top management aimed at speeding up decision-making.
Satoshi Tsunakawa, the current president who was promoted in 2016 following an accounting scandal, will resign and become non-executive chairman from April, Toshiba said in a statement Saturday.
Kurumatani, 62, joined Toshiba in April 2018 after the electronics conglomerate decided to sell its crown-jewel memory unit to a consortium led by Bain Capital, in order to avoid delisting after billions of dollars of losses in its U.S. nuclear energy operations. A former vice president at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and executive at CVC Capital Partners Ltd., Kurumatani restored Toshiba’s dividend and bought back ¥700 billion worth of shares.
Kurumatani, who has spent his entire career in banking, was only the second outsider appointed to lead Toshiba in the past 50 years, an unusual development at a conglomerate where executives typically spend decades working their way to the top. When he joined he said his mission was to revive Toshiba’s spirit of technological and entrepreneurial innovation, conceding he faced a “difficult job.”
Toshiba is adopting a new corporate officer system that “will provide key personnel who lead the development of Toshiba Group with responsibilities, authority and compensation commensurate with their achievements, and enhance their presence in external sales activities,” the Tokyo-based company said in the statement. It will add three executive officers as of April.
Separately, Toshiba is currently pressing forward with plans to take over NuFlare Technology Inc., despite a higher competing offer for the provider of critical chipmaking equipment. Toshiba was already NuFlare’s biggest shareholder with 52.4 percent when it initiated the buyout. Toshiba Machine Co., an independent company that retains its former parent’s name and is the second-largest NuFlare stockholder, has said it will sell its 15.8 percent stake to Toshiba.
In a new twist, Yoshiaki Murakami, Japan’s best-known activist investor, announced a tender offer for Toshiba Machine late Friday.