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Kunio Nakamura, dead at 83, transformed Panasonic as president

'Destruction and creation' turnaround saved company from brink of failure

As Panasonic's CEO, Kunio Nakamura pushed through drastic reforms that broke the rules of Japanese business management.

OSAKA -- Shortly after taking over as Panasonic president in 2000, Kunio Nakamura -- who died of pneumonia on Monday at age 83 in an Osaka hospital -- was called into the office of then-Toyota Motor Chairman Shoichiro Toyoda.

Back then, Panasonic still went by the corporate name Matsushita Electric Industrial and was in dire straits following the dot-com bubble burst.

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