We blogged earlier this year that Alistair Dormer, first foreign EVP of Hitachi and former CEO of Hitachi Rail in the UK might be in line to become the next (and first foreign) president of Hitachi Japan.
It seems – according to Diamond magazine – that the current chairman of Hitachi, Hiroaki Nakanishi, has deliberately set up a competition between Dormer and the other candidate, Keiji Kojima. Dormer is now heading up the global elevator and rail business, where 80% of sales are overseas. Kojima is leading Hitachi’s “internet of things” business, which also means reviving the stagnating home appliance business in Japan.
The Hitachi rail factory in Newton Aycliffe, UK assembles carriages from domestic and imported parts from Japan and elsewhere to sell locally and re-export. It is “plagued by the risk of Brexit”, says Diamond magazine. On top of which losing the London deep tube rail bid to Siemens was like “bees on a tearful face” – a Japanese expression meaning adding to add insult to injury, or to make matters worse. The Newton Aycliffe plant is currently finishing back orders, and if it does not win any further projects, will have to start reducing employee numbers.
Dormer moved to Tokyo after being made EVP and is, according to a Hitachi official, “rapidly gaining popularity” with his British sense of humor and gentle handling of employees who are not good at English – which I take to mean he has not, thankfully, imported any British sarcasm, irony or bantz.
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