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Yoshio Tateishi, former president and CEO of Omron Corp., died early Tuesday of pneumonia caused by COVID-19 at a hospital in Kyoto, the electrical appliance maker said. He was 80.

Tateishi, the company’s honorary adviser and honorary chairman of the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was the third son of Omron’s founder Kazuma Tateishi. The former president had been hospitalized due to a virus infection since April 5.

After graduating from Doshisha University, he joined the Kyoto-based company, then known as Tateisi Electronics Co., in 1963. He was appointed president in 1987 and chairman in 2003, when Hisao Sakuta became the first Omron president from outside the Tateishi family.

A native of Osaka, Tateishi became honorary chairman of Omron in 2011 and honorary adviser in 2019.

During his presidency at Omron, he promoted the company’s overseas operations and diversification of businesses and succeeded in quadrupling its sales abroad to some ¥200 billion ($1.86 billion), making it a major global company.

Under Tateishi’s helm, Omron installed the world’s first automatic ticket gates at Hankyu Railway’s Kitasenri Station in 1967.

He was also widely known as a representative of local business circles, serving as the chairman of the Kyoto chamber of commerce from 2007 to March this year. In 2017, he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star for his contribution to the country’s economic development.

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