TEPCO to reshuffle top managers
Some big changes are in store for the boardroom of the company that operates the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. A planned reshuffle at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings is aimed at speeding up work at the crippled plant and moving ahead with business reforms.
The government owns a majority of the shares in TEPCO Holdings, giving it effective control. The company faces a decades-long task of decommissioning the melted down reactors and paying compensation.
Sources say government officials are now putting the finishing touches on a plan to replace Chairman Fumio Sudo. Taking his place will be Takashi Kawamura, chairman emeritus of electronics-maker Hitachi.
TEPCO Holdings President Naomi Hirose will become vice chairman and he’s going to focus on efforts to help revitalize Fukushima Prefecture.
Tomoaki Kobayakawa, who heads the group’s retail unit, will be taking over his job.
TEPCO plans to hold a board meeting as early as Friday to formally approve the new lineup.
State taps director Kobayakawa to become Tepco’s next president
The government plans to appoint Tomoaki Kobayakawa, a director on the board of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., as president of the nationalized utility, it was learned Sunday.
Kobayakawa, 53, is president of Tepco Energy Partner Inc., a retail subsidiary.
The government plans to have Tepco President Naomi Hirose, 64, step aside to take the post of vice chairman so he can concentrate on decommissioning the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and compensating the people and businesses affected by the March 2011 triple core meltdown, informed sources said.
To replace Tepco Chairman Fumio Sudo, 76, the government has already asked Takashi Kawamura, 77, honorary chairman of Hitachi Ltd.
Tepco plans to adopt the appointments this month. The new management team is expected to be launched after a shareholders meeting in June.
Tepco is expected to invite Shoei Utsuda, 74, who advises trading house Mitsui & Co., and Kazuhiko Toyama, 56-year-old chief executive officer of Industrial Growth Platform Inc., as outside board members.
By revamping Tepco’s top management, the government hopes to speed up its reform mainly through operational realignment that may involve other companies. This is aimed at improving its competitiveness and raising funds to finance the enormous costs of dealing with the man-made nuclear accident triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, according to the sources.
The leaders of Tepco’s subsidiaries are also expected to be replaced.
With Kobayakawa at the helm, the holding company plans to rejuvenate its management team and promote rehabilitation under the leadership of Kawamura, who engineered the drastic recovery of Hitachi’s earnings.
The new Tepco team will face the challenge of balancing work to address the consequences of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl and boosting its earnings capacity.
Tepco plans to draw up soon a new business reconstruction program calling for, among other steps, the integration of its electricity transmission and nuclear businesses with other companies.