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Business

Talent continues to jump ship at Sharp

Head of Asia business moves to major electronics retailer

Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou, left, has so far succeeded in lifting Sharp's earnings, but the Japanese subsidiary has been unable to stop talent from leaving.

OSAKA -- Japanese electronics maker Sharp has lost another executive, with a managing officer in charge of Asian operations switching his allegiance to Edion, the operator of a major consumer electronics store chain.

Akira Atarashi had been appointed last August to the post of managing officer, serving as head of Sharp's Asia-Pacific and Middle East business, in a management shuffle following Taiwanese company Hon Hai Precision Industry's acquisition of Sharp.

Under the lead of the world's No. 1 electronics manufacturing service company -- which operates as Foxconn -- Sharp's earnings have been on the mend. But high-level managers and engineers continue to leave.

Atarashi has long experience in sales. His previous posts at Sharp included president of a subsidiary that sells white goods, televisions and other appliances. He is expected to start working at Edion shortly, likely in the home renovation division, one of the key areas that his new employer is focusing on.

Sharp hoped to stop the talent bleeding with the introduction of a merit-based remuneration system employed by Hon Hai. However, it lost multiple divisional manager class personnel last autumn to Nidec, a Kyoto-based manufacturer of electric motors.

Other deserters include some of the engineers who worked on the development of Sharp's Robohon robot-shaped mobile phone, which was released last year. They have found a new home at a robot-related affiliate of Huis Ten Bosch, a theme-park unit of Japanese travel company H.I.S.

Furthermore, some former Sharp employees now work in totally different businesses, such as Kameda Seika, a snack producer known for its rice crackers.

(Nikkei)

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