Shiseido’s Masahiko Uotani looks toward retirement

Shiseido’s Masahiko Uotani looks toward retirement

TOKYO — Masahiko Uotani, President and CEO of Shiseidorevealed succession plans on Thursday that are expected to see him step down within the next two years.

Effective January 1, Uotami’s role will change to representative director, president and CEO, while Kentaro Fujiwara will assume the role of president and COO. Fujiwara is also expected to be selected as representative director at a board meeting in March.

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“Fujiwara and I will work closely together for two years running the company together, and then we’ll see what happens after that. I don’t want to just suddenly pass the baton,” Uotani said.

Fujiwara is currently CEO of Shiseido China and also a senior executive officer of the parent group. He joined Shiseido in 1991 and transferred to Germany three years later, and was based in Paris, France and Dusseldorf, Germany for more than six years, according to Shiseido. He also held leadership positions such as president of Shiseido Korea and general manager of the corporate strategy department before being assigned to Shiseido China.

His rise to become Uotani’s apparent successor is perhaps an indication of where Shiseido sees its future: China.

Despite the slowdown in beauty product sales in China caused by continued lockdowns, Shiseido’s business grew 19% like-for-like in 2021. Uotani has aggressively globalized the business during his tenure, and growth in China is the cornerstone of your strategy. . Last August, the company launched an innovation fund with Boyu Capital to explore investment opportunities in China’s emerging markets. Cosmetic products and wellness brands, as well as related technology such as e-commerce.

Shiseido first entered China in 1981 and has since expanded its business to include research and development, production, and distribution. The country is home to Shiseido’s second headquarters.

The country, which is the world’s second largest beauty market behind the US, is a major growth engine for Shiseido. This year, however, sales are down there as challenging conditions persist.

In addition to investing in emerging businesses there, Uotani’s long-term strategy to be the world’s number one skin beauty company by 2030 was developed to harness the holistic approach to beauty and skin care that dominates many markets. Asians.

“This is an approach that is more biased towards Eastern thinking,” she told WWD Beauty Inc earlier this year. “The way you eat and live your life affects the condition of your skin. Japanese and Chinese women really believe that good digestion helps their skin.

“Our frame of reference can be expanded with the change of consumers,” he continued. “Therefore, we made the decision to focus on skin beauty, not skin care. Holistic beauty is a more important concept and value for consumers.”

At the same time it revealed Uotami’s succession plan, Shiseido reported that net profit fell 38.2 percent to 29.05 billion yen, or $198.4 million, for the nine months ended June 30. September. The drop was mainly due to impairment losses associated with the transfer of ownership of the company. personal care business, recorded in the period under review, while earnings on the same transfer were recorded in the same period of the previous year.

Operating profit in the largest in Japan Cosmetic products ell of the company by 62.7 percent to 35.66 billion yen.

Shiseido saw nine-month net sales growth of 4.7 percent to 762.74 billion yen.

In 2021, Shiseido launched a new strategy, under which it will implement global reforms with an emphasis on profitability and cash flow by focusing on what it calls “skin beauty.” Recognizing that therein lies its strength, it is restructuring its business portfolio and improving profitability. The current year is what the company calls its “return to growth” year, and it is focusing on furthering the growth of its global brands.

“While like-for-like net sales were lower than last year in the China business, which continues to be affected by lockdowns, we achieved strong growth in the Travel Retail, Asia Pacific, EMEA and Americas businesses. Our key skin beauty brand Clé de Peau Beauté and major makeup brand Nars grew strongly and drove growth. In the Japan business, growth turned positive thanks to Elixir’s renewal in September and other factors,” the company said in a statement.

Sales in Japan rose 1.3 percent to 178.56 billion yen, while sales in China fell 10.7 percent to 171.9 billion yen. Shiseido saw sales in the Asia Pacific region grow 10.2 percent to 48.74 billion yen, and in the Americas 7.7 percent to 97.91 billion yen. Sales in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region increased 10 percent to 89.7 billion yen. The company’s travel retail business gained 15.2 percent to 120.14 billion yen.

The company left its guidance unchanged for the 12 months ending Dec. 31. It expects net profit to drop 45.6 percent year on year to 25.5 billion yen.

Operating profit for the year is expected to decline 6 percent on the year to 40 billion yen.

Shiseido forecasts annual net sales of 1.07 trillion yen, representing 5.9 percent growth from a year earlier.

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