Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#86 Takemitsu Takizaki $13.8B

Random fact: Staff is among the best-paid in the industry.

Overview

Takizaki is the founder of Keyence, a maker of electronic sensors with revenue of 413 billion Japanese yen ($3.8 billion) in the year to March 20, 2017. The Osaka-based company's products are used on assembly lines by customers like Toyota and Toshiba. Takizaki stepped down as chairman of Keyence in 2015.

As of July 22, 2017:
Last change +$237M (+1.8%)
YTD change +$3.15B (+29.6%)
Industry Technology
Biggest asset 6861 JP Equity
Citizenship Japan
Age 72
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Takemitsu Takizaki's net worth of $13.8B can buy ...

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
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Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Takizaki's fortune is derived from his 23 percent stake in Keyence, an Osaka-based electronic sensor maker. He owns the shares directly, through holding company TT KK, and through his son, Takeshi Takizaki, according to the company's 2016 annul report. Takizaki is credited with all of these shares in this analysis to reflect his status as founder.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of stock transactions, calculated dividends, market performance and taxes.

Ryu Nakayama, an executive in the management office of Keyence, declined to comment on Takizaki's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 6/10/1945
Family: Married, 1 child
Education: Amagasaki Industry High School, Graduated

Takemitsu Takizaki was born in the southwestern Japanese prefecture of Kyogo in June 1945, about two months before the end of World War II. After graduating from high school, he took a job working for a foreign machinery company. During the next decade he started two businesses that both went bankrupt, leading him to focus on building electronic sensor maker Keyence debt free, according to a July 2013 story in President Online, the online version of Japanese magazine President.

Takizaki founded Lead Electric, the predecessor to Keyence, with three employees in 1974. He changed the company's name 12 years later, a play on the company's slogan, "Key to Science."

The billionaire ran Keyence using unconventional management methods compared to traditional Japanese corporations, according to a September 2006 article in President. At most companies in Japan, lower-ranked employees hold elevator doors for senior managers before stepping off elevators. Takizaki made it a company rule that such courtesy didn't matter, and insists the person closest to the door should get off first because it's more efficient, according to the President article. To break down traditional hierarchy, he also encouraged employees to call each other by their names instead of titles, which is uncommon in the country.

An avid fossil collector, Takizaki placed the remnants of the past throughout the company's headquarters, according to a September 2006 story in Nikkei Business News. The message he wanted to convey: If you don't produce new products to cope with changes, you'll be extinct like fossils.

The high-school graduate helped invent the precision sensors used on assembly lines to build cars for Toyota Motor Corp. and chips for Toshiba Corp. His employees are among the highest paid in the Japanese machinery industry with an average annual salary of about 16.5 million yen ($137,000) in the year ended March 2015, according to its 2014 annual report. Besides, employees are also paid bonuses four times a year.

The billionaire stepped down as chairman and took the title of honorary chairman in March 2015.

Milestones
  • 1945 Takemitsu Takizaki is born in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.
  • 1963 Graduates from Amagasaki Industry High School near the city of Kobe.
  • 1972 Starts Lead Electric, the forerunner of Keyence, in Itami City.
  • 1974 Incorporates Lead Electric and becomes its president.
  • 1986 Renames as Keyence, combining "Key" and "Science."
  • 1987 Sells Keyence shares in an Osaka initial public offering.
  • 1989 Lists Keyence shares in the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
  • 2006 Produces world's first three-dimensional laser marker.
  • 2014 Subsidiary JustSystems starts trading on the Tokyo exchange.
  • 2015 Retires as chairman to become honorary chairman.