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Japan’s Kao Corp appoints new CEO and President

Kao Corporation

Japan’s Kao Corporation announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer and President, as the beauty conglomerate rejigs its top-level management team.

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Kao Corp has appointed Yoshihiro Hasebe as its new CEO and President, “to further drive growth and increase corporate value under new leadership amidst drastic changes in the business environment,” according to a press release.

Hasebe succeeds former CEO Michitaka Sawada, who will move into the position of Kao Corp Director and Chair. The leadership shuffle is effective 1st January, 2021.

Sawada joined Kao Corp in the early 1980s and has held the position of Representative Director, President and CEO of Kao since June 2012. Hasebe joined Kao in 1990, before coming a board member in March 2016 and then a Representative Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer three years later.

Looking ahead, the company said other executive appointments would be announced in the new year, once the decision is made by the company’s board of directors.

In its most recent trading update, Kao Corp said its net sales for the six months ending 30th June, 2020 fell 7.5 percent to US$6.32 billion on the back of the coronavirus pandemic, which hurt cosmetic sales in its domestic market as people were restricted from going out. Net income for the six-month period fell 11.5 percent.

A chemical and cosmetics company, spanning across several different business categories, the Tokyo-based firm operates cosmetics brands Curél, Molton Brown, Kanebo, Sensai and Suqqu, as well as skin care and hair care brands Bioré, Jergens, John Frieda, and Oribe.

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Kao Corp was founded 1887 by Tomiro Nagase and is today headquartered in Nihonbashi-Kayabacho, Chuo, Tokyo.