Sharp Australia gets a new MD

Keiichi "Kasey" Katsuta has joined the Sharp Australia team as the new managing director, moving from his previous role as unit deputy general manager for emerging business opportunity marketing department in Japan.

Electronics firm Sharp Australia has appointed Keiichi "Kasey" Katsuta as managing director, following the departure of former MD Masashi Uchiyama, who has returned to Japan to take up a senior role with Sharp's energy solution business division.

Katsuta, who will officially commence the his new role on 16 June, will oversee the overall control, strategic direction, and management of all corporate operations in the Australian business.

To support Katsuta, Joe Costantino has been appointed deputy managing director effective immediately. Costantino was previously Sharp Corporation Australia's director of sales and marketing.

"I look forward to working with Katsuta and our business partners in taking Sharp forward in the Australian market," said Costantino.

Katsuta has been with Sharp for 32 years, holding positions across Japan, America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. He previously served as unit deputy general manager for emerging business opportunity marketing department in Japan where he was responsible for the overall direction and management of new business development in overseas markets.

Speaking about his new position, Katsuta said he was looking forward to the challenges of his new role.

"I am excited to be joining the Sharp Australia team. With new technologies emerging, it is my aim to make sure the company delivers in every area to build on the brand legacy in Australia," he said.

The survival of Sharp, which has been greatly impacted by poor consumer demand and strong yen recently, has been helped with the assistance of other technology-based firms.

Last year, chip-maker Qualcomm became the Japanese company's third-largest shareholder after it invested a total of US$120 million to help the struggling firm. The deal also meant the two companies would come together to jointly develop next generation MEMS (micro electronic mechanical system) display technology. Under the terms of the deal, Sharp was to produce a number of screens in varying sizes that combined MEMS with the company's IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) technology to improve power consumption rates.

During the same time, Sharp attempted to secure funding from a number of other sources. Following the failure to close investment by Foxconn worth US$806 million, South Korean electronics giant Samsung paid 10.4 billion yen for a three percent stake in the company.