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Seven & i set to appoint Isaka next president as management shakeup continues

Ryuichi Isaka (Mainichi)

Seven-Eleven Japan Co. President and COO Ryuichi Isaka, 58, is likely to be named the next president of retail giant Seven & i Holdings Co., it was learned on April 13.

The revelation comes after reports on April 12 that Seven & i Holdings President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Noritoshi Murata, 72, would likely resign, following the recently announced departure of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Toshifumi Suzuki, 83.

Seven & i plans to convene the firm's committee on appointments and compensation within the week to select the rest of the firm's incoming executive team. The selections will then go before an April 19 board meeting for approval, and be presented at the firm's general stockholders meeting in late May to obtain final agreement for the post-Suzuki management structure.

Suzuki announced his resignation after a proposal he backed to replace Isaka as Seven-Eleven president was defeated by the board on April 7. Murata, who became Seven & i COO in 2005 and has been a consistent Suzuki ally, looks likely to resign as well to take responsibility for the chaotic situation in the company's executive ranks.

Murata serves on the company's appointments and compensation committee, set up by the board of directors to improve transparency of executive appointments and other issues. Suzuki has said he "will not appoint" anyone to the incoming management team, making it likely he will not sit on the appointments committee. Murata, meanwhile, is likely to join external Seven & i board members in picking the new executives.

There is apparently a proposal in the firm to keep the post of chairman empty, and to abolish the positions of COO and CEO, under the incoming management structure. Meanwhile, the remaining members of the board look likely to stay on.

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