Kyocera founder Kazuo Inamori, one of Japan’s most influential and respected business leaders, died of natural causes at his home in the city of Kyoto on Aug. 24, the firm announced Tuesday. He was 90.

Inamori, a native of Kagoshima Prefecture, established Kyocera in 1959 in Kyoto when he was 27. The firm started with 28 staffers, but eventually turned into a major electronics and parts maker boasting more than 80,000 employees globally.

He also co-founded DDI in 1984, a predecessor of KDDI, to facilitate competition in the telecommunications market, then dominated by NTT. KDDI is now one of the top three mobile phone carriers in Japan.