Japanese High Tech Roars Again

Reforms in Japan bring profits back, but more changes are needed

When Koji Nishigaki took over as president and CEO of NEC Corp. in March, 1999, few were willing to place long-term bets on the high-tech manufacturer. Like most leading Japanese makers of chips and computers, NEC was an ailing giant, staggering under years of sickly profits, poor management, and over-diversification. Nishigaki didn't waste time: He immediately began revamping management, slashing jobs, and unloading unprofitable units.

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