Shintaro Tsuji will step down as CEO of Sanrio on July 1, the company said in a statement on Friday. Tomokuni Tsuji, 31, would take power to “ensure effective decision-making,” it added. Shintaro will remain chairman.
Shintaro founded Sanrio as a Yamanashi Silk Center store in 1960, and changed its name to Sanrio in 1973. Sanrio was one of the first Japanese companies to see the potential in the character licensing business – and Hello Kitty is by far the most popular and profitable. creation.
Sanrio, meanwhile, has grown into a retail and entertainment behemoth with amusement parks and restaurants in Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Tomokuni Tsuji, meanwhile, already has a special relationship with Hello Kitty: They share the same birthday, November 1st. Tomokuni is 14 years younger.
Sanre fans are already comparing the new CEO to Sanrio’s character Pompompurin, a beret with a golden retriever.
One tweeted that Tomokuni “was the perfect picture for Sanria.”
Despite the continued popularity of Hello Kitty, earnings at Sanri have been under pressure for years. For the year ended March, net profit fell 95% year-over-year to 191 million yen ($ 1.8 million), largely due to declining merchandise sales and the closure of its theme parks. Sales fell 6.5%, and Tokyo’s Sanrio Puroland theme park – also known as Hello Kitty Land – remains closed after closing in February due to a coronavirus pandemic. The park is scheduled to reopen on July 20th.
Family businesses in Japan often pass the reins on to their eldest sons. The founder’s son, Kunihiko, died in 2013 of heart failure, according to the company.
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