TOKYO Sanyo Electric has appointed a new president, a move that is expected to accelerate the unbundling of business units such as digital cameras and mobile phones following the expected sale of its semiconductors operations.
Seiichiro Sano, 54, was named president effective Monday (April 2). Sano is currently vice president and general manager for general affairs and human resources.
Current president Toshimasa Iue, 44, will remain as a director of Sanyo's board until the stock holders' meeting in June.
Iue's resignation ends the hereditary management of Sanyo by the Iue family, which founded the company in 1947.
Sanyo has struggled through two straight annual losses and the current fiscal year ending Saturday (March 31) is also forecasted to end in the red. Vocal major stockholders have been calling for management changes.
Iue cited stockholder discord as the major reason for his resignation. "There should be a third or forth solution, and I proposed it. But such a solution takes time and I could not win the stakeholders' confidence," Iue acknowledged.
Iue crafted a restructuring plan called the Sanyo Evolution Project in 2005, which sought to refocus Sanyo on energy and green businesses.
Under the restructuring plan, Sanyo has outsourced its TV and home appliance businesses. It now plans to invite bids for its chip business. Stockholders are now demanding further unbundling of businesses such as mobile phones and digital cameras.