HONG KONG The end of the Toshifumi Suzuki era at Seven & i Holdings underscores that even daring, powerful leaders can find their jobs in jeopardy if they fail to communicate effectively with investors. Large Asian companies -- which are notorious for closed-door, family-driven management -- should not dismiss Suzuki's downfall as someone else's problem.
Two of the four members of Seven & i's nomination and compensation committee, and four of the 15 members of the board, hail from outside the company. Seven & i's corporate governance framework, designed to protect shareholders' interests, thwarted Suzuki's attempt to bulldoze the proposal through. The system worked.