Sharp names Takahashi as 3rd president in 2 years

Sharp names Takahashi as 3rd president in 2 years

Sharp Corp. announced Tuesday that it promoted Vice President Kozo Takahashi to replace President Takashi Okuda, who stepped down after just one year as the struggling electronics maker posted a major loss for the second year in a row, sources said.

Okuda, 59, will become chairman, replacing Mikio Katayama, 55. Katayama, who served as president before Okuda, will now retire.

The personnel change coincides with Tuesday's release of the firm's medium-term management plan for three years starting in fiscal 2013.

The plan aims to reform Sharp's management structure, such as by halving the number of board members from the current 12. The plan is expected to be given official board approval after a general shareholders meeting in late June, the sources said.

Takahashi, 58, began his career at Sharp after graduating from the graduate school of Shizuoka University in 1980 and was appointed vice president in June 2012.

Katayama resigned as president in April 2012, a time when Sharp's mainline liquid crystal television business was struggling and the firm had just posted a record loss of 376 billion yen for fiscal 2011.

Katayama replaced Katsuhiko Machida as chairman, who took an advisory role, and both gave up their rights of representation to make room for Okuda. The moves were aimed at clarifying management responsibility and promoting the restructuring of the company's businesses.

However, the after-tax loss for fiscal 2012 hit 545 billion yen when extraordinary losses, such as those incurred in reducing liquid crystal panel production facilities, were included.

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