Golden age for 50-somethings at the helm in corporate Japan
The demographic again supplied a majority of new presidents in the first half, poll shows
TOKYO -- More than half of freshly minted presidents at major Japanese enterprises in the first six months of this year were in their 50s, according to a Nikkei Inc. survey.
A total of 628 listed and unlisted corporations changed presidents during the half. The tally was effectively unchanged from the year-earlier 624.
And 51.1% of these new leaders were in their 50s, up 0.3 percentage point to mark a second straight year in the majority and the highest share since the survey began in 2003.
Dai-ichi Life Holdings installed 53-year-old Seiji Inagaki as president in April. Life insurers continue to face a difficult business environment amid ultralow interest rates but are also seeing financial technology open up new opportunities. Inagaki's challenges include devising innovative ideas for navigating the shifting landscape.
At Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings, 53-year-old Tomoaki Kobayakawa replaced 64-year-old Naomi Hirose in June. The new president's main focuses include securing funds for reactor decommissioning at the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Masayuki Mizushima, 57, assumed the presidency of Hakuhodo DY Holdings ad agency Hakuhodo in April. He took the reins from Hirokazu Toda, 11 years his senior.
Overall, the average age of 57.18 has hardly budged on the year.
Slightly less than 11% of the new presidents were 49 or younger -- the second-lowest share, after 2015. And 3.2%, or 20, of the 628 companies appointed presidents 70 or older.
Those in their 60s made up 35% of the new presidents, down 1.8 points on the year. This was the second-smallest proportion, after the 2008 figure.
Just eight of the new presidents were female. The tally, unchanged from 2016, was the highest yet in the survey.