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Japanese energy major JXTG Holdings names new president

Katsuyuki Ota must lead restructuring drive as coronavirus saps demand for oil

Katsuyuki Ota is expected to be officially installed as president of JXTG Holdings at a board of directors meeting in June. (Photo by Takuya Fujusawa)

TOKYO -- JXTG Holdings, a leading energy company in Japan, will appoint Katsuyuki Ota as president, Nikkei learned Friday.

Ota has been serving as president of subsidiary JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy.

The appointment is expected to be officially approved at a board of directors meeting in June. JXTG Holdings will be renamed Eneos Holdings, and JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy will be renamed Eneos.

Tsutomu Sugimori, the current President of JXTG Holdings, will become the company's chairman. He will also become president of the Petroleum Association of Japan.

Ota will remain as president of Eneos. He will play an important role at the holding company now that domestic demand for oil is dissipating and forcing the company to develop a new core business. In this regard, Eneos Holdings is expected to look at renewable energy.

Ota was appointed president of JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy in June 2018. Since then, he has been leading the development of new businesses, including domestic power retailing and an offshore wind power business in Taiwan.

As president of Eneos Holdings, Ota will take the lead in groupwide structural reforms.

JXTG rival Idemitsu Kosan merged with Showa Shell Sekiyu in April 2019, which kicked off a round of industrywide consolidation.

Ota's appointment comes at a crucial time, with the coronavirus pandemic sharply curtailing domestic demand for gasoline.

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