According to the Nikkei dated 21 January 2011, Yamato Holdings announced on 20 January that Makoto Kigwawa, President of Yamato Transport, will become the new President of the holdings company as at 1 April 2011.
The moment I read the sub-heading, "Transport" President to Focus on Overseas Business Expansion, I knew he could not possibly be someone who came through the ranks of very Japan-focused Yamato. I know a man who was overlooked for a promotion via exam at Yamato because he is a customs management specialist and not well-heeled in the domestic part of the business. (In Japan, you can be promoted in rank without really being promoted to a new position based on your seniority and if you meet the criteria. For management, it often requires both written and oral exams; and once you pass, you may be doing the same old job you were doing before but your salary would be a bit higher, though some benefits meant for non-management may be taken away.)
The Nikkei explains that Kigawa is the first ever President to have come from outside Yamato. The current President, Kaoru Seto, will become Representative Chairman. Kigawa will continue on with Seto's direction to expand overseas, but accelerate it, according to the article.
The following is my unofficial translation of parts of the article:
Kigawa is formerly of the Mizuho Financial Group and joined Yamato Holdings in 2005. Yamato has a sound financial structure, but as the group transformed to a holdings company structure, Kigawa was invited to expand the business scope of Yamato. From 2007, Kigawa became President of mainstay business Yamato Transport and established himself in enhancing the "takkyubin" or home parcels delivery business.
On 20 January, at the press conference, Kigawa expressed his ambitions in the new role by saying, "I wish to continue on down the tracks laid by Mr. Seto (in expanding the "takkyubin" business abroad), and generate new growth elements within Yamato." The domestic small parcels home delivery business is shrinking due in part to the low birth rate, but he says,, "the entire market still has room to grow if we develop new services."
Yamato Holdings is in the process of establishing their new three-year plan that commences from fiscal 2011 (starting 1 April 2011). The core of that medium-term plan is to enhance the "takkyubin" business in both Japan and abroad. Kigawa plans to expand the business scope to Hong Kong (February) and Malaysia (September).
In Japan, Yamato plans to invest approximately 140 billion yen to launch the company's largest logistics center "Haneda Logistics Terminal" in mid-October 2012, and sees the need to create new logistics hubs to fulfill the requirements of their corporate and private customers.
Yamato Transport is capitalized at 50 billion yen and has just under 140,000 employees.
Yamato Holdings is capitaized at 1.272 trillion yen and currently estimates to finish the financial year at 31 March 2011 with revenue of 1.228 trillion yen, an operating profit of 64.0 billion yen, a recurring profit of 66.0 billion yen and a net profit of 34.0 billion yen.