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Hitachi Ltd. says it has appointed company president Tsutomu Kanaias as chairman, effective April 1. Hitachi, the parent company of more than 300 electronics subsidiaries, including Hitachi PC and Hitachi Data Systems, has also named Hiroshi Kuwahara to the newly formed position of vice chairman. He'll assume that role in June, at the completion of a three-year stint as executive VP of Hitachi's IS, electronic components, and business development groups.
The reorganization follows a disastrous midyear earnings report for Hitachi. Earlier this month, the company reported a $1.17 billion loss for the first two quarters of 1998, compared with a $27 million profit for the same period a year earlier. The company says Kanai has been responding to the poor showing by implementing management reforms and cost-cutting measures.
Replacing Kanai as president will be Etsuhik Shoyama, the company's current executive VP in charge of the consumer products group. The company says Shoyama has aggressively restructured that business over the last two years.
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