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Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Toshiba names VP Nishida president

Toshiba Corp. on Tuesday named Corporate Executive Vice President Atsutoshi Nishida, who oversees its reviving personal computer operations, as its new president, taking over from Tadashi Okamura who becomes chairman.

The change at the top of Japan's second-largest electronics conglomerate will be officially confirmed after a shareholders' meeting in June, the company said after a board meeting.

The PC division of Toshiba, the world's third-largest notebook computer maker, has been hit hard in recent years by the aggressive pricing policies of U.S. rivals Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

But under Nishida, 61, the unit is on course to turn profitable for the current business year ending on March 31, helped by outsourcing to Taiwanese contract manufacturers and a focus on high-margin models with advanced audiovisual functions.

He has two personal mottos, the company said in a news release: 'Genzen Jishuku' ("Set yourself tough challenges and achieve them" and 'Jisshin, Jitsugen, Jikko' ("Commit to and make good your promises").

Okamura, 66, has been at the helm of Toshiba, whose products range from nuclear power systems to hard disk drives used in Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod portable music player, since 2000.

He led Toshiba's withdrawal from the DRAM business, which had become dominated by more nimble and cost-efficient foreign rivals, and helped turn the focus of its chip division to NAND-type flash memory -- Toshiba's cash cow product.

With Okamura's move to the chairmanship, current chairman Taizo Nishimuro will become an adviser to the company.

Nishida, who joined Toshiba in 1975, has also held senior positions in the company's North American and European operations. He has been head of the PC division since January 2004.

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