Japanese businesses need different managers who are more willing to take risks as the country emerges from 15 years of deflation that hampered innovation, according to Takeshi Niinami, chairman of Lawson Inc.
“Most CEOs were promoted because they are really good at cost-cutting, not doing business, something new,” Niinami said today at a Japan Society conference in New York. “Those people can’t manage in this kind of situation where you can find more business opportunities.”
Niinami, 55, an economic adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is on the Industrial Competitiveness Council of Japan and a member of the Tax Commission of the Government. He was previously the chief executive of Lawson, Japan’s second-biggest convenience store chain, and was named president of Suntory Holdings Ltd. this year.