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Sharp to Name Kozo Takahashi as President, Nikkei Says

Sharp Corp., the unprofitable Japanese television maker, will promote Executive Vice President Kozo Takahashi to president, replacing Takashi Okuda, the Nikkei reported.

Okuda, who became president in April 2012, will replace Mikio Katayama as chairman, the newspaper said. Sharp wasn’t the source of the information, said Miyuki Nakayama, a spokeswoman at the Osaka-based company.

Okuda, 59, has sold company assets and mortgaged its headquarters to raise funds after losses on TVs and liquid-crystal displays drove Sharp to a record 376 billion-yen ($3.7 billion) net loss in the year ended March 2012. Takahashi, 58, is currently in charge of the company’s products business group, which includes TV sets and mobile phones.

Sharp is scheduled to report earnings tomorrow for the year ended March 31. The company is forecasting a record loss of 450 billion yen.

Sharp gained 12 percent to close at 506 yen in Tokyo trading, extending gains to 58 percent over the past six trading days. The shares plunged 55 percent last year.

Takahashi joined Sharp in April 1980 and previously headed the health and environmental products division as well as the company’s U.S. operations, according to company filings.

Sharp, which has 200 billion yen of convertible bonds due this year and 360 billion yen of loans due June 30, has been seeking investments from rivals and selling assets as its cash pile shrinks. Sharp sold 10.4 billion yen of shares to Samsung Electronics Co., Asia’s largest electronics maker, in March.

Okuda said Feb. 1 the company aims to post net income in the year ending March 2014. Sharp estimated operating profit will reach 13.8 billion yen in the six months to March 31, rebounding from a 168.9 billion loss in the first half.

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