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 user 2010-05-17 at 1:41:27 pm Views: 71
  • #24259
    Seiko Holdings, the creator of the world’s first quartz
    wristwatch, sacked its president yesterday for a “tendentious management
    style” in a move that could herald a new vogue for candour in corporate
    Japan.Seiko’s blunt explanation for why Koichi Murano was sacked
    suggests that it has learnt a lesson from the ousting of Kuniaki Nozoe
    as president of Fujitsu last September.Fujitsu initially said Mr Nozoe
    had resigned for health reasons, but after Mr Nozoe demanded his job
    back this March, it said that he actually agreed to resign after being
    threatened with dismissal over links to a company of “unfavourable

    Mr Nozoe and Fujitsu are now embroiled in a legal
    dispute about the circumstances of his resignation.By contrast, Seiko
    pulled no punches in explaining Mr Murano’s exit. “[Mr Murano] has
    brought unstable corporate governance by his tendentious management
    style, reflecting only the opinions of some major shareholders and
    directors, and neglecting the reasonable exercise of executive power,”
    the company said.”As a result, [he] has raised distrust of the company
    management among our business partners and employees. To avoid this
    critical condition, the company determined to dismiss the former

    Mr Murano could not be reached for comment.
    It is
    rare for a Japanese company to dismiss a top executive, let alone in
    such robust language.However, the Seiko case has involved a disagreement
    between the senior management and was decided on a 3-2 vote by the
    eligible board directors, according to local media reports. That
    suggests a quiet resignation was not an option.

    Mr Murano will be
    replaced by Shinji Hattori, the deputy president and a scion of the
    family that founded Seiko in 1881. Seiko has become one of Japan’s
    largest watchmakers and is the official timekeeper for the World
    Athletics Championships. It also makes golf clubs, metronomes and
    electronic components.Seiko Epson, which makes printers and scanners, is
    a separate company that started from the same corporate group.Seiko
    Holdings expects to have made a net loss of Y7.3bn ($78m) on sales of
    Y234bn in the year to March 2010. That follows a Y5.8bn loss last year.
    Seiko blames poor economic conditions in Japan, Europe and the US.After
    it bought full control of Seiko Instruments last year the group is in a
    relatively weak financial condition. Equity amounted to less than 10 per
    cent of total assets at the end of December 2009.