Japan Post Appoints Nagato as President, Replacing Nishimuro

  • Nishimuro was hospitalized last month after overseeing IPO
  • Postal group faces declining mail volumes, negative rates

Japan Post Holdings Co. named Masatsugu Nagato as president of the recently listed mail and financial services giant, replacing Taizo Nishimuro following his hospitalization last month.

Nagato, 67, will take the post on April 1, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement Wednesday. He joined the group as president of its banking unit last year after previously serving as chairman of Citibank Japan Ltd. Nishimuro, 80, will remain a board member.

Nagato will take the reins of a company that faces challenges to profitability as mail volumes fall and the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rates policy threatens to curtail investment returns for its bank and insurance units. Nishimuro oversaw the postal group’s three-pronged initial public offering last year, a $12 billion deal that attracted mostly individual investors and was Japan’s biggest privatization this century.

Nishimuro’s health is unlikely to improve in the near future but he is fit to perform his duties as a board member, Vice President Yasuo Suzuki said at a news briefing in Tokyo, without disclosing Nishimuro’s condition.

Nishimuro said in November that he plans to decide on a successor around June or July 2017, in time for the company’s annual shareholder meeting. He is a former chief executive officer of Toshiba Corp. and Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc.

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