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Mitsubishi Heavy to name strategy officer as new president

Progress on struggling regional jet prompts change to younger Izumisawa

Mitsubishi Heavy's new president will be tasked with leading the company on an overseas expansion drive. (Photo by Keiichiro Sato)
Mitsubishi Heavy's new president will be tasked with leading the company on an overseas expansion drive. (Photo by Keiichiro Sato)

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will promote Executive Vice President Seiji Izumisawa, 61, to president on April 1, Nikkei has learned, bringing fresh leadership to its long-delayed jet project and aiming to keep the momentum going on efforts to revitalize the group.

The move will be announced as soon as early next week. President Shunichi Miyanaga, 70, will become chairman.

Miyanaga will hand over the baton to the younger Izumisawa now that Mitsubishi Heavy has stanched heavy losses from its large-cruise-ship business and injected hefty amounts of capital into Mitsubishi Aircraft, the unit handling the Mitsubishi Regional Jet. A light has appeared at the end of the tunnel for the struggling passenger plane, which was recently approved to make critical test flights ahead of its first commercial trips, scheduled for mid-2020 after years of delays.

Seiji Izumisawa, current chief strategy officer, will replace Shunichi Miyanaga as president of Mitsubishi Heavy. (Photo by Masamichi Hoshi)

A graduate of the prestigious University of Tokyo, Izumisawa has served since June as chief strategy officer, supporting Miyanaga's overseas push by putting together concrete plans for a transition to "global group management" announced in October. Coming from a technical background, he has also handled planning for the company's long-term technological development. He worked for some years at sister company Mitsubishi Motors.

Izumisawa will lead the company as its adopts a new business plan focusing on overseas expansion in April.

Miyanaga, appointed in 2013, helped centralize control of the group, previously concentrated at separate factories, to improve management efficiency. He worked to sell off unprofitable businesses, opening a path to milestones including the group's first sales tally topping 4 trillion yen ($36.8 billion), for the year through March 2016. He also helped guide the MRJ toward becoming a reality.

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