Seiko Corp. will spin off its wristwatch business, Seiko Watch Corp., into a wholly owned subsidiary. The company will formally become a holding company at a shareholders’ meeting on June 28, the company announced this month.
The action, decided at a board meeting on March 13, will also see the end of the Hattori family’s leadership of the company.
JCK just learned that the president of the new Seiko Watch Corp. will be Tsutomu Mitome, the current president and CEO of Seiko Corp. of America (SCA), according to company sources in Tokyo. Mitome-who has spent 12 of his 40 years with Seiko at the U.S. operations, including the last three years-will return to the Tokyo headquarters. However, he will remain chairman of SCA and make quarterly visits to the U.S. operation.
Reijiro Hattori, who has been chairman of the corporation, will be honorary chairman of the new company. There is no one in the family, which founded the company, to follow him.
In addition, Chushichi Inoue will be replaced as president on June 28 by Koichi Morano, currently vice president. Inuoe will become an advisor to the company.
Spinning off Seiko Watch Corp. is `’a logical progression,” said a top Seiko Watch Corp. official.
Seiko Corp. also announced it was revising upward its net profit estimate for the year ending March 31, from 6 billion yen (about $48.6 million) to 6.5 billion (about $52.7 million). It said strong sales of information technology products, glasses, and sporting good-as well as solid business in watches overseas-offset falling watch sales in Japan.