TOKYO — Kao Corp. said Tuesday that it has appointed a new president and chief executive officer, who will assume the position on Jan. 1. The current president and ceo will move into the position of director and chair of the Japanese cosmetics and daily care company.
Michitaka Sawada has held the position of representative director, president and ceo of Kao since June 2012, after first joining the company in 1981. The executive will turn 65 in December, and will move to his new role of director and chair at the start of the new year.
Sawada will be succeeded in his current position by Yoshihiro Hasebe, who joined Kao in 1990 after graduating from the Tokyo University of Science with a Ph.D. in industrial chemistry. He became a member of the board in March 2016, and since March 2019 has been a representative director and senior managing executive officer.
Kao said the reason for the promotions is “to further drive growth and increase corporate value under new leadership amidst drastic changes in the business environment.”
Kao Corp. has brands and products that span five different business fields, including cosmetics, skin care, hair care and health care. Its cosmetics brands include Curél, Molton Brown, Kanebo, Sensai and Suqqu. In the skin care and hair care field, it has Bioré, Jergens, John Frieda and Oribe. As of the end of 2019, its products were sold in more than 100 countries and regions.