Japan’s Seven & i names Loeb-backed executive leader after power struggle
Japan’s Seven & i (3382.T) named an executive backed by U.S. activist investor Daniel Loeb as its new leader, ending two weeks of management turmoil at the $90 billion retail group in a case seen as a test of corporate governance in the country.
Seven & i, Japan’s biggest retail group, said its board on Tuesday nominated Ryuichi Isaka, currently head of its profitable convenience store unit Seven-Eleven Japan, to be the president of the parent.
Isaka, 58, a career insider at Seven-Eleven Japan, has been credited with driving the growth of the convenience store chain. In an open letter addressed to Seven & i’s board in March, Loeb had called Isaka the leading candidate to helm the group.
But earlier this month, Isaka was targeted by Seven & i’s charismatic CEO Toshifumi Suzuki for an ouster, which failed after a close board vote, leading to the 83-year-old Suzuki resigning his post.
The leadership fight at the 7-Eleven parent is a sign of improving corporate governance in Japan as the board refused to rubber-stamp the powerful CEO, analysts have said. Read more