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Sharp revamps management, names new president

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LCD panels? LCD supply chain?

As it faced a record annual loss with its TV sales going into the red, Sharp Corp., reshuffled its management and named a new company president. Takashi Okuda will replace Mikio Katayama effective April 1, 2012.

Okuda, who has been with Sharp for more than 30 years, pledged to lead the company's turnaround.

In a news conference, outgoing president Mikio Katayama said, "I will take responsibility for that turnaround in tandem with the new president." "It was not the case that we were moving in the wrong direction. New methods will become necessary and I want to endeavor to improve the company with the new president," he added.

The company is Japan's largest LCD maker but the company has been struggling. Last month it forecast a net loss of $3.5 billion (? 290 billion) for the year ending March 31. However, some are skeptical that the change of leadership will turnaround the company. "Just because you switch presidents doesn't change any of the fundamental problems," said Yoshihiko Tabei, general manager and chief analyst at Kazaka Securities. "At least with Sony the new head is someone that is known, that has run its successful PlayStation business," Tabei added.

Japanese firm are facing tough competition with its foreign rivals. Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. have also changed their management.

The LCD slump
Okuda has said that he will unveil his plans on reviving Sharp before the company announces earnings for the full-year to the end of March, which will be likely at the end of April.

Like its counterparts Sony and Panasonic, Sharp has been facing the global supply chain issues of LCD panels and a record rally in the yen against the dollar.

The company has already cut its LCD panel output at its Sakai facility in Osaka, Japan. The company has spend billions of dollars in building the Sakai facility, which has left Sharp indebted.

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