(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| NEC's President Resigns; Business Outlook Revised Downward
February 24, 1999 (TOKYO) -- NEC Corp. president Hisashi Kaneko will
resign as of March 26 and will be replaced by executive vice president
Koji Nishigaki, following a drastic downward revision of the company's
business prospects for the current fiscal year.
|As of October 1998, NEC had expected a consolidated net loss of 35 billion
yen (US$287 million) for fiscal 1998, through March 1999. The figure
has been revised to a consolidated net loss of 150 billion yen. And
the earlier figure of a non-consolidated profit of 30 billion yen (US$246
million) was revised downward to a non-consolidated loss of 150 billion
The post of chairman has been vacant since Tadahiro Sekimoto resigned
in October 1998. The new chairman will be Hajime Sasaki, currently senior
executive vice president.
The company had earlier estimated that consolidated sales would reach
4.9 trillion yen (US$40.18 billion) in fiscal 1998, or the same as in
the previous business year. However, the figure was revised downward
to 4.7 trillion yen. Its projected pretax loss has been drastically
revised from 35 billion yen to 220 billion yen, the company said.
On a non-consolidated basis, projected sales were revised from 3.75 trillion
yen (down 8 percent) to 3.65 trillion yen (down 10 percent), and recurring
profit from 50 billion yen (down 38 percent) to 3 billion yen (down
An NEC official said the downward revisions are due to: (1) a delay in
the recovery of domestic business and stagnant demand in Asia and the
Central/South American region; (2) a deterioration of the business climate
caused by the sharp appreciation of the yen; and (3) a deterioration
of the business performance of Packard Bell NEC Inc. (PB-NEC) and its
extraordinary losses incurred through restructuring.
Also, NEC announced plans to organize a "management innovation committee"
with the representative director acting as the core member. It hopes
to implement "management innovation measures."
Specifically, the company will reassign about 10,000 of its employees
in Japan in the next three years. In three years it expects to have
9,000 fewer employees in Japan and 6,000 fewer employees at associated
As part of its personnel streamlining plan, the company will limit the
hiring of college graduates at the main office to 550 in the spring
of 2000, and it will refrain from hiring general clerical or technical
Moreover, hiring at associated companies will be frozen with the exception
of some of its software subsidiaries.
Investment in plants and equipment in fiscal 1999 will be reduced by
20 percent compared with the current year, while investment in research
and development (R&D;) and other expenditures will each be cut by 10
percent, the company said.
NEC cited the reorganization of PB-NEC as part of its business recovery
measures. NEC will buy out PB-NEC Europe, PB-NEC's subsidiary operating
in Europe, for US$450 million. The transaction will be handled as a
capital investment in PB-NEC. Of the amount, US$20 million will be used
for repayment of loans to bring the loan balance to zero.
Additionally, the company has already started to slash PB-NEC's fixed
costs and has cut the number of employees from 6,000 at the start of
1998 to just 3,000. The parent company also has proceeded with liquidation
of bad assets. NEC said that PB-NEC's recurring losses, which had reached
US$500 million in 1998, will be cut to US$80 million in 1999.
With these measures, the company aims to attain consolidated sales of
6 trillion yen (US$49.2 billion) and pretax profit of 300 billion yen
(US$2.46 billion) by fiscal 2001.
By implementing a series of profit improvement measures, the company
plans to reduce its consolidated interest-bearing liabilities by 600
billion yen to bring the debt-capital ratio to a level below 1.5.
Nishigaki, who will be the next president, has worked in IT system-related
fields. He will be the first executive from the IT-related area to become
president of NEC. Nishigaki has worked extensively in the system integration
business. Because of his achievements, a great deal is expected of him
in upgrading NEC's business structure. However, the electronics company
has a long and difficult road ahead.
In addition to the weakened structure of corporate profits, the company
is faced with problems of stagnant domestic business conditions and
diminished demand for semiconductors, among other adverse external factors.
NEC has been unable to cope successfully with PB-NEC's business stagnation.
NEC did not make any specific comments on the reorganization and consolidation
of unprofitable businesses except for those related to PB-NEC.
Kaneko will become a counselor and a member of the board, joining Sekimoto.
However, some doubts are lingering about the new management's ability
to implement innovation with the "old management" serving as advisers.
"I will make my own judgments on the company's business management,"
More information is available in English at: http://www.nec.co.jp/english/today/newsrel/9902/1901.html
NEC Posts April-Sept. Consolidated Net Loss of 19.7B Yen
NEC Seeks to Boost Sales by 8 Pct. in 1999: Exec. Vice Pres.
(BizTech News Dept.)
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