Surprise at Toshiba: its CEO resigns as opposition to the company’s division grows

The situation in Toshibafar from calming down, seems to get complicated at times: its CEO has resignedcatching everyone by surprise. Satoshi Tsunakawawho has announced his departure from the post in the face of the growing internal opposition to the company’s restructuring plans, which pass through its division. Apparently, Toshiba shareholders, who have been angry with the group’s situation for quite some time, do not see these plans with good eyes, which would have motivated Tsunakawa’s resignation.

For now, Toshiba has a Interim CEO: Taro Shimada, who until now was Vice President of Toshiba. In addition, the company has confirmed that Shimada will be in charge of the energy and infrastructure subsidiary resulting from the Toshiba division, when the separation of its divisions becomes effective in the second half of 2023. Therefore, the division of the company goes ahead, despite opposition from some shareholders.

But Tsunakawa is not the only one who has tendered his resignation. So has Mamoru Hatazawa, a Toshiba board member who has strongly defended his split. Neither of them will, however, leave Toshiba, since they will continue to be directors within it. Tsunakawa will also remain interim chairman of its board of directors. In addition to these changes, Goro YanasePresident and CEO of Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems, has been named COO of the company.

On the other hand, Hiruyoki Sato, who is currently the President and CEO of the group’s Electronic Devices and Storage division, will now be Vice President of Toshiba, in charge of the group’s electronics and storage areas. In addition, when his division process is complete, Sato will be the President and CEO of the resulting company dedicated to devices.

Sato’s appointment, as well as Yanase and Shimada’s, is provisional, and the board of directors “will monitor the performance and status of business execution, and confirm the appointees in their respective positions if they achieve satisfactory results. Where appropriate, the board will continue its deliberations regarding the nomination of external candidates.«. On March 24 there will be an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders, in which their approval will be sought for the new Toshiba division plan. In addition, the shareholders will vote on the proposal of one of them to explore other options and request purchase offers from venture capital funds.

The division plans of the company passed, in principle, by dividing it into three parts, as part of the plan to move towards overcoming various scandals. It was announced last November after a five-month strategic review of the company that followed the departure of several of its managers, including Toshiba’s CEO in April and its Chairman in June, after years of accounting scandals. and management problems that took shareholder confidence to a minimum and caused Toshiba’s value to fall to 18,000 million dollars, less than half of what it had at the beginning of the century.

The investigation, which was carried out by several lawyers, uncovered and confirmed that Toshiba had drawn up a plan with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to prevent Effissimo Capital Management, a fund that holds 9.9% of the shares of Toshiba, could make use of certain privileges as a shareholder in the company’s annual general conventions.

After much criticism from shareholders, who preferred to sell the company to a private venture capital fund, Toshiba decided to redirect its plans, announcing last month that it will finally split into two, and sell some divisions. But again this plan raised all kinds of internal criticism. According to several sources, as Reuters points out, there is fear among shareholders that the planned sale of certain divisions, such as the one dedicated to elevators, will leave the company in power only in areas that leave low business margins. And the departure of Tsunakawa and Hatazawa add even more doubt and uncertainty about these plans and their viability. Everything indicates that they will be reviewed again.

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