Canon Inc. President and COO, Uchida, to Step Down; Mitarai to Fill...

Canon Inc. President and COO, Uchida, to Step Down; Mitarai to Fill Posts


Tokyo, Japan—At the meeting of its board of directors on January 30, 2012, Canon Inc. tentatively approved a change of its representative directors, announcing that president and chief operating officer, Tsuneji Uchida, would step down from his posts and that the current chairman and CEO, Fujio Mitarai, 76, would fill those positions.

The change is scheduled to be approved at the ordinary general meeting of shareholders and the following board of directors’ meeting, which will be held on March 29, 2012.

The announcement of the change in leadership followed Canon’s report that, for a second straight year, it projects profits would increase by less than 1%. The reason for the change of leadership is “[t]o promote steady advancement towards achieving the company’s goals in Phase IV of the Excellent Global Corporation Plan (2011–2015) amid the challenging business environment,” the company said in a press statement.

Net income this year is forecast to increase to 250 billion yen ($3.3 billion) from 248.6 billion yen last year, the company reported. Sales are expected to rise 5.4% to 3.75 trillion yen, and operating profit, or sales minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, is estimated to increase 3.2% to 390 billion yen, the company said.

Uchida, 70, who will become a senior adviser, offered to resign, chief financial officer Toshizo Tanaka told reporters. Uchida joined Canon in 1965, becoming the head of camera operations and head of the lens business before being named president in 2006. He cut costs and led acquisitions of companies that include Oce NV, a Dutch printermaker.