Tadashi Yanai expressed his preference for a woman to succeed him once he retires as CEO of Fast Retailing Co. which operates the global super brand Uniqlo.
The 70-year-old has frequently been asked about his succession plans at the company that began from his father’s humble tailor and grew into the ubiquitous brand in malls all over the world.
“The job is more suitable for a woman. They are persevering, detailed oriented and have an aesthetic sense,” Yanai said in an interview with Bloomberg.
He also stated that he plans to increase the ratio of female senior executives to more than half the current total.
The company has six women holding such roles. Last year, it reached its target of having more than 30 percent of women in charge of management positions. Yanai has a 50 percent target of women in executive roles.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has addressed the shortage of women in Japan’s workforce. There is also a gender imbalance among top management roles in Japan where only 4.1 percent of women holding executive positions.
In June 2019, Uniqlo appointed 40-year-old Maki Akaida as the first female CEO for its Japan operations.
When asked whether Akaida is considered a potential successor, Yanai said “It’s a possibility.”
The company also said it plans to invest $1.8 million in a partnership with the International Labour Organization in order to support its factory workers in Indonesia. -/TISG