Kunio Nakamura is stepping down as president of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co and will be replaced by a senior executive who oversees the Japanese electronics maker's TV business, the company said yesterday.
Nakamura, who has led a revival at Matsushita by cutting costs and focusing on key products, will be succeeded by Fumio Ohtsubo, a senior managing director, and the move will become final after a shareholders meeting in June, the company said in a statement.
Ohtsubo -- who also oversees DVD recorders, displays, portable music players and other audiovisual goods -- had been seen as a candidate to become the next president, and there had been some speculation that Nakamura might make way for new leadership.
Nakamura, who joined Matsushita -- the maker of Panasonic brand goods -- in 1962 and led its US operations since the late 1980s, saw an opportune time to hand over leadership to Ohtsubo now that the company is on a stable track to recovery with better profits, according to a company spokesman.
Nakamura will stay on as chairman, the company said.
Nakamura became president in 2000 at a time when Osaka-based Matsushita was in deep trouble. Over the years, he has led a gradual recovery since Matsushita posted its worst loss since its founding 80 years ago for the fiscal year through March 2002.
His decision to focus on products that were delivering solid profits such as DVD recorders and flat-panel TVs proved a success, and Matsushita's results have since improved.
Matsushita chalked up a ?49.3 billion (US$416 million) group net profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up 39 percent from he same period the previous year as sales climbed 4 percent at ?2.398 trillion.
Matsushita is expecting a ?130 billion profit for the fiscal year ending in March, revised upward from a previous projection for ?110 billion, and fiscal 2005 sales are expected to total ?8.84 trillion.
Matsushita has been investing aggressively in producing computer chips and flat panels to keep its edge in more expensive gadgets that can keep it ahead of cheaper Asian rivals.
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
STRONGER DEFENSES: The announcement could be considered tacit US support for the nation’s indigenous arms manufacturing program, Joseph Wu told lawmakers Just hours after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on Wednesday, the US Department of State’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced in Washington the possible sale of 18 MK-48 Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan. Reacting to the announcement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that the ministry applauded the US move, which would help to uphold the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The TRA states that the US should “provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character … to maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer