Sharp reportedly mulls chairman's retirement, scrapping posts

[UPDATE] Japanese electronics maker is reportedly considering pushing its chairman, Mikio Katayama into retirement and abolishing advisory posts, to increase the pace of business revival.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor
Sharp is considering pushing its chairman into retirement, and the scrapping of advisory posts within the organization.

Sharp may push its chairman Mikio Katayama into retirement and scrap advisory posts to speed up a business revival.

According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Sunday, citing unnamed sources, the Japanese electronic maker's main creditor banks Mizuho Corporate Bank and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, have been seeking Katayama's removal.

A company adviser Katsuhiko Machida and special adviser, Haruo Tsuji, who were appointed for having formerly led the Osaka-based company, are also likely to retire, since chairman Katayama and Machida are considered responsible for expanding the firm's loss-making liquid crystal display business, the sources said.

Sharp is also set to release its mid-term business management plan on May 14, 2013 and its president Takashi Okuda is expected to take the lead in drastically restructuring the firm's operations.

Katayama had become the company's president in 2007, and launched the operations of an LCD factory in Osaka prefacture Sakai, but stepped down and became chairman in 2012, with no representation rights.

According to the WSJ report, Katayama took charge of the LCD business in 2012 and played a key role in negotiating a capital and business tie-up with U.S. telecom device maker Qualcomm and South Korean rival Samsung Electronics.

Last week, unnamed sources told Reuters the struggling Japanese electronics maker has a 500 billion yen (US$5.1 billion) net loss for the financial year ending March 31, 2013, worse than November's forecast of 450 billion yen (US$4.54 billion).

When approached by ZDNet Asia, Sharp said, "We would like to decline to comment on it, because this news is not based on Sharp’s announcement."

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