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Suntory names convenience store operator as president

Suntory has officially nominated Takeshi Niinami to be its new president, marking the first time somebody from outside of the founding family has been put forward for the role.

Takeshi Niinami has been officially nominated as Suntory’s first ever president from outside of the founding family

Following a meeting of its board of directors yesterday, Japanese drinks group Suntory has revealed that Niinami, head of convenience store operator Lawson Inc, has been nominated to assume the position of president from 1 October.

Current Suntory president and chairman Nobutada Saji will be relieved of his role as president, but will remain with the company as chairman.

Meanwhile Shingo Torii and Shigehiro Ayoama have been nominated by the board to become executive vice presidents.

Niinami’s nomination marks Suntory’s break with 115 years of tradition as this is the first time somebody from the founding family has been nominated as president since the company was founded in 1899.

Under the leadership of Niinami, Suntory said it hopes to strengthen its overseas operations, specifically through mergers and acquisitions.

Since taking over as president of Lawson in 2002, 55-year-old Niinami has spearheaded the company’s expansion into China and Thailand.

Speaking at a press conference in Japan, Saji hinted that the group might be seeking to make another big acquisition in about three years time, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Suntory has already taken great strides in enhancing its international this year with the successful US$16 billion acquisition of Beam Inc, creating Beam Suntory Inc.

All nominations are subject to approval at the shareholders’ meeting and another meeting of the board in September this year.

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