Executive terminations in the USA aren't usually very newsworthy - nor in Europe for that matter. But in Japan where the historic sentiment was "job for life," the outing of a CEO by the board is a big deal. Especially when the termination wasn't even disguised as "resignation." 72 year old former top executive of Seiko
Koichi Murano (not the man in the picture here) was removed by the board recently for flat out doing a bad job. From the outside it is almost impossible to determine exactly what Mr. Murano did improperly (for likely a long period of time), but it was enough for his dismissal to be referred to as being due to "dogmatic, and tendentious" management of the company. For a Japanese brand to remove someone for being inflexible and likely highly bureaucratic is saying a lot. I actually am proud of Seiko's move. When something doesn't work properly you fix it. Seiko made no cover-up of its management musical chairs, and I think the move speaks positively of them from a public relations perspective and for brand confidence.
While I didn't meet Mr. Murano during my visit to Seiko
, I did meet his replacement, 52 year old Shinji Hattori (the man in the picture). A high-level executive Seiko himself, Mr. Hattori will now oversee that entire (complex) entity that is Seiko. Seiko lost money last year - likely due to the highly depressed watch industry, but remains one of the top watch makers in the world. Comparatively speaking, they didn't lose that much money though. Mr. Hattori will be responsible for modernizing Seiko a bit in terms of marketing, sales, and distribution, I am sure. I can't say much else about him, but at least he isn't a "dogmatic manager." A year from now we will see how things work out for the major Japanese company.
Via Financial Times
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch review