Canon to replace president with CEO

Japanese camera maker's chairman and CEO, Fujio Mitarai, will succeed Tsuneji Uchida as president on Mar. 29, as company fails to find successor among younger executives, reports state.

Canon's chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai will add being president of the Japanese camera and printer maker to his other portfolios, replacing Tsuneji Uchida in March, after the company failed to find a younger successor from within its ranks.

In a press statement issued by the company on Monday, the 76-year-old Mitarai will succeed 70-year-old Uchida as president on Mar. 29 in an effort to "promote steady advancement toward achieving Canon's goals...amid the challenging business environment". The exiting executive will continue to aid the company as a senior advisor, it stated

A separate report by the Wall Street Journal on Monday also cited Canon CFO Toshizo Tanaka as saying that it was Uchida's decision to leave his position. He added that while the company had been working on training younger leaders for succession, it could not find anyone suitable for the role due to delays caused by business environment changes from the global financial crisis.

Commenting on the leadership change, Naoki Fujiwara told Reuters in a report on Monday that he does not expect any sudden changes to the way the company is run as Mitarai has been at the center of its management.

"They do need to hand over to the next generation at some stage, so we're interested to see when that will happen," Fujiwara said.