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(Japanese Site)

  • Fujitsu Names New President
  • March 31, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Fujitsu Ltd. said President Tadashi Sekizawa will step down and be replaced by executive vice president in charge of software/services, Naoyuki Akikusa.
    Sekizawa will become chairman and director without authority to represent the company. The reshuffle will be officially decided at a meeting of the board of directors to be held after the annual shareholders meeting in late June, Fujitsu said.

    During a recent press conference held by Sekizawa and Akikusa at Fujitsu's head office in Tokyo, reporters' questions centered on why Japan's leading domestic computer maker decided to change its president.

    "The computer industry and its surrounding environment are undergoing drastic changes, and there is the need for our company to respond to such changes," Sekizawa said. "Under these circumstances, there is nothing surprising about passing my job on to a new president."

    Asked about why this time was chosen to reshuffle top management, Sekizawa said he felt that his wisdom and power to see into the future as the head of the company has declined.

    Looking back on his achievements as company president, Sekizawa said, "I have shifted the focus of our business from computer mainframes to client/server systems and software and services in response to the trends of the times, and put our business on the right track."

    "Our company's business structure and strategy are not adequate for doing business globally, and have yet to catch up with ongoing changes in the world," he added. "Moreover, we need to reinforce our business foundation by improving our company's financial basis and by forming tie-ups with ICL of the UK and Amdahl Corp. of the United States. These are tasks to be carried out by the new management, led by the next president, as well as our company as a whole."

    Akikusa pushed the company's shift away from hardware, under the leadership of Sekizawa.

    At the news conference, he was asked to comment as the incoming president. He was humble, saying, "During my long career here, there was hardly an occasion when I was able to bring a project to a success."

    The software/service business, with which Akikusa was charged for a long time, is becoming the core of Fujitsu's information- related businesses. But Akikusa did not give high marks to the business, saying, "It is still too early to say that the software/service business is a success."

    Referring to his future policy, Akikusa said, "I will review the way we train our personnel and revise our business structure to cut costs and improve profits. I will do this not only in the service department, but also in the computer hardware and semiconductor departments, as well as all departments involving telecommunications."

    "I am not well versed in microchips and telecommunications. But I am not concerned about that. This lack of knowledge may serve as a positive factor in carrying out drastic reforms," Akikusa said.

    Sekizawa said he is willing to become chairman without the right to represent the company as one of the steps to reform the board of directors and speed up its decision-making.

    The role of the supreme decision-making body comprising the president and senior executive vice presidents with the rights to represent the company, and the role of the board of directors, will be defined more clearly in the future.

    More information is available in English at: http://www.fujitsu.co.jp/hypertext/news/1998/Mar/26- e.html

    (Hi-Tech News Center)

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    Updated: Mon Mar 30 16:02:52 1998