He may be the new president of the world’s biggest consumer electronics company, but Matsushita Electric Industrial’s Fumio Ohtsubo wants more. During his inauguration speech in Japan, 60-year old Ohtsubo said he hopes to boost the annual sales of Panasonic’s plasma screens by a massive 70 percent, to one trillion yen; as well as increase revenue from semiconductor chips to 650 billion yen a year; boost revenue from its car electronics division to one trln yen (from 690 billion in the last fiscal year) and home appliances to 3 trillion yen (from 2.5 trillion yen).
Ohtsubo replaces Kunio Nakamura, now chairman of the board, who won kudos for the way he has reversed the company’s perilous finances, from a record loss of nearly 200 billion yen in 2002 to a 400 billion yen profit in 2005.
It’s all part of a change of focus away from restructuring. “My mission as president,” he says, “is to make a phase change toward growth. Unless we achieve higher levels of success in flat TVs, car electronics, home appliance and semiconductor businesses where our strength already lies, we can not evolve into a globally excellent company.” A business plan and timetable to achieve this growth will be presented in January 2008.
Ohtsubo also said he’s aiming for a 5 per cent operating profit margin in the financial year ending March 2007, doubling to 10 percent by 2010. “If we can meet this operating margin target, we can be seen as a globally excellent company,” he proclaimed.