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Toshiba Says Tanaka to Take Over as President in June

Toshiba to Make Tanaka President in June, Replacing Sasaki
Atsutoshi Nishida, chairman of Toshiba Corp., from left, Hisao Tanaka, corporate senior executive vice president, and Norio Sasaki, president and chief executive officer, shake hands at a news conference in Tokyo. Photographer: Junko Kimura/Bloomberg

Toshiba Corp., the Japanese maker of flash-memory chips, elevators and nuclear reactors, said Hisao Tanaka will take over as president in June as it tries to bolster growth from energy and chip operations.

Tanaka, 62, a corporate senior executive vice president in charge of strategy planning, purchasing and production, will replace President Norio Sasaki in June, the company said in a statement today. Sasaki, who has headed Toshiba since June 2009, will become vice chairman, and Atsutoshi Nishida will remain chairman, Toshiba said. The changes are subject to approval by the board following a shareholders meeting in June.

The new president’s tasks will include expanding the Tokyo-based company’s energy and chipmaking operations while cutting costs to increase profit. Toshiba, which supplies chips to Apple Inc., also needs to rebuild its home-appliances business after the unit had a 1.3 billion yen ($14 million) loss last quarter.

Tanaka’s experience in emerging markets is “very important” for the company, Nishida, 69, said today in Tokyo. The chairman said he had been asked to stay on and will step down in June 2014.

Tanaka joined Toshiba in 1973 and has held his current title since June 2011, according to the company’s website. Sasaki, 63, will be the first vice chairman since listing in 1949, according to the company. The last three presidents all served for about four years.

Toshiba fell 0.9 percent to 420 yen as of 2:07 p.m. in Tokyo trading, compared with a 2.1 percent decline for the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average. The company, the biggest flash-memory maker after Samsung Electronics Co., has gained 25 percent this year, giving it a market value of about $19 billion.

Sasaki’s Turnaround

Sasaki has turned around Tokyo-based Toshiba, leading the company to two consecutive annual profits following a record 344 billion-yen net loss in the year ended March 2009. The executive, who joined Toshiba in 1972, has used acquisitions to bolster the company’s smart-energy and chipmaking operations.

Toshiba bought San Antonio-based energy-technology management company Consert Inc. for more than 1 billion yen this month, it said Feb. 7. It acquired Swiss electronic-metering company Landis+Gyr AG in 2011 to boost its energy-management sales.

Sasaki will become vice chairman of Keidanren, Japan’s biggest business lobby, the group said Feb. 12. He also is a member of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, a government advisory body that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revived in January.

Toshiba posted a larger-than-expected profit for the three months ended December because of higher semiconductor prices, a weaker yen and rising sales of power equipment. Net income totaled 29.3 billion yen, the company said Jan. 31.

Chip Prices

The company benefited from higher chip prices caused by production cuts, rising sales of mobile devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPads, and demand for gas-fired power stations following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. The weaker yen boosted the value of overseas sales and assets.

Toshiba expects full-year net income of 110 billion yen, operating profit of 260 billion yen and sales of 6.1 trillion yen, it said Jan. 31.

The company is in talks to sell as much as 36 percent of its Westinghouse Electric atomic-power business after being forced to increase its stake in the unit to 87 percent. Toshiba was compelled to buy 20 percent of Westinghouse last month after Shaw Group Inc. used a push option to sell its stake.

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