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August 22, 2006

JAPAN: Daiei president to step down

Beleaguered Japanese retailer Daiei will soon say goodbye to its president, Yasuyuki Higuchi.

Beleaguered Japanese retailer Daiei will soon say goodbye to its president, Yasuyuki Higuchi.

The largest investor in Daiei, Marubeni Corp., said that Higuchi would step down in October as the group continues to undergo major restructuring. A former president of Hewlett-Packard’s Japanese division, Higuchi only joined Daiei in May.

Marubeni said in a statement that it had asked him to stay, but that he had insisted on leaving. The reason for his departure is unclear.

In his short tenure Higuchi has forged ahead with restructuring including job cuts and the closure of unprofitable outlets based on a revamp plan recommended by the Industrial Revitalisation Corporation of Japan (IRCJ), a state-backed bailout body.

Trading house Marubeni Corp became the top shareholder of Daiei earlier this month, increasing its stake to 44.6% through the purchase of shares from the IRCJ.

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