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(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

News from NET and COM '99

  • Lotus Development Japan Names Yasuda President
  • February 16, 1999 (TOKYO) — Lotus Development Japan Ltd., the Tokyo-based unit of Lotus Development Corp. of the United States, said it appointed general manager Makoto Yasuda, 39, to serve as president, effective as of Feb. 15.
    Former president Saburo Kikuchi is now a strategic advisor to the parent company, according to company officials. Kikuchi served as president of Lotus Development Japan for 12 years, the longest tenure among the foreign-affiliated Information Technology (IT) companies in Japan.

    “Within the company there were discussions that my successor should be invited from IBM Corp., the parent company, but I have insisted that a young person should be selected as president from among our staff,” Kikuchi said.

    Meanwhile, Yasuda said that he will continue pushing the flagship groupware product Lotus Notes.

    “We will offer a business environment centered on utilizing the Internet and Web technologies,” Yasuda said.

    Yasuda described the company’s future as bright, predicting that the seeds the company planted last year in the market for small and midsize businesses will produce results in the latter half of this year. He will concurrently serve as head of the company’s sales unit headquarters.

    Yasuda joined Lotus Development Japan as a consulting manager for groupware-related products in 1994, when he was working for Andersen Consulting. Lotus Development Japan was striving to upgrade the consulting service for its potential customers interested in groupware.

    After becoming a director in 1995, Yasuda was promoted to the post of managing director in 1997 and general manager with the right to represent the company in January this year.

    On the track record for 1998, Kikuchi said the company’s sales of groupware Notes dropped to 2.6 million units, for a decline of 100,000 units from the previous year. However, brisk sales of Notes-related products helped boost its total revenues, which exceeded those of 1997, Kikuchi said.

    Kikuchi ascribed the company’s robust sales for 1998 to NotesPump, Domino.Doc, LearningSpace and other Notes-related products, on top of a variety of services.

    However, he declined to comment on the total revenue for 1998 and only said that it was more than the level of 23.5 billion yen (US$206.8 million) in 1997.

    Since it was purchased by IBM, the parent company in the United States has refrained from announcing Lotus sales figures. The Japanese unit also will end its practice of announcing a financial statement in line with the parent’s policy from fiscal 1998. It had formerly announced account settlements in Japan each year.

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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