ZETCHER TO BECOME CHAIRMAN AT TALBOTS

HINGHAM, Mass. — The Talbots Inc., based here, said Tuesday Takuya Okada will retire as chairman at the chain’s annual meeting May 25 and will be succeeded by Arnold Zetcher, who will also continue as president and chief executive officer.
Okada, 74, also plans to retire in May as chairman and ceo of Jusco Co. Ltd., which is Talbots’ majority shareholder, and become honorary chairman and adviser at Jusco. He has been a member of Talbots’ board since 1988.
In addition, Eiji Akiyama will retire from Talbots’ board, having recently retired from his role as Jusco’s executive vice chairman. “Chairman Okada’s unique management philosophy of ‘autonomy with responsibility’ has given us the resources and freedom necessary to grow,” Zetcher, 59, said in a statement.
Talbots also announced that two new members have been nominated for the Talbots board, Toshiji Tokiwa and Yoichi Kimura. Tokiwa is currently a nonexecutive director at Jusco and was recently nominated as chairman and ceo of Jusco pending shareholder approval at Jusco’s annual meeting May 16. Tokiwa previously served for two years as general manager of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Ltd.’s New York branch before returning to Tokyo in 1995 as senior managing director of the bank.
Kimura is executive general manager of the international division of Jusco. He joined the company in March 1998 as chief financial officer and in May of that year became a member of the board. Prior to Jusco, Kimura held senior management positions at Dai-Ichi Kangyo.
Talbots, a national specialty retailer and cataloger of women’s classic apparel, shoes and accessories, operates 676 stores, including 407 misses’ stores, 156 petites stores, 35 accessories and shoe stores, 53 kids’ stores, six Talbots Woman stores and 19 outlets.