Tadano has announced that chief executive Koichi Tadano, 66, will move to a new role as chairman from the start of April. Toshiaki Ujiie, 59, will take over as chief executive having served as chief operating officer since joining the company.
The announcement was made at a financial press conference earlier today, with each of them giving a statement. They are published in full below.
Koichi Tadano said: “Today, it is my pleasure to announce the new leadership of Tadano to our valued stakeholders. It has been my honour to serve as president and chief executive of Tadano for 18 years. For your support in helping me reach this milestone day, I offer my humble thanks to all of our stakeholders and each and every one of the employees in the Tadano Group.”
“Since our founding, Tadano has been a company that values the concepts of ‘creating products that benefit society’ and 'contributing to the world’s development'. These concepts are infused in our Corporate Philosophy of ‘Creation, Contribution, and Cooperation,’ our core values of ‘Safety, Quality, and Efficiency based on Compliance,’ and in the Tadano Way. I am very proud to say that these concepts have all come to be deeply valued among the employees of the Tadano Group working throughout the world.”
“In the midst of the coronavirus disruption, we are experiencing a severe situation in terms of our current business results. However, Tadano is a company that overcomes challenges. Every time we do so, we emerge stronger and grow further. Also, Tadano is fast approaching an era of great change. For this reason, I now hand over the reins of the company to our new leader, Mr. Toshiaki Ujiie, whose abundant global business experience, combined with his formidable ability to conceptualize and execute, make him the right person for the job. In my new role as chairman of the board, I will do everything in my powers to support president Ujiie and contribute to the growth of the Tadano Group.
Toshiaki Ujiie added: “I am humbled and honoured to be given the opportunity to serve as president and chief executive officer of Tadano. I joined the company in April of 2019, less than two years ago, but I am surrounded by some of the world’s greatest crane experts. I look forward to honing my understanding of cranes and the inner workings of the company by working closely with them. I also hope that the experiences and knowledge that I bring from the world outside of the crane industry can combine with their expertise to bring about dynamic change and transformation.”
“Mr. Tadano has remarked to me that ‘Innovation is brought about by the young, the foolish, and the outsiders of our world.’ While my age precludes me from claiming the first of these characteristics, I certainly possess the other two. By working together with the young and energetic talent in our company, I will strive from day one to expand the Tadano brand, which my six predecessors have built in their turns as CEOs of the Tadano Group.”
“The Tadano Group currently has about 5,000 employees. About half of them are working outside of Japan, in countries throughout the world. This company, with its headquarters located on the rural island of Shikoku, has grown over time first to become the top crane company in Japan and then to become a global leader with production in Asia, Europe, and the United States. I am honoured to receive the call of duty to lead such a company, and I will work steadfastly toward Tadano’s venerable goal of becoming number one worldwide in the lifting equipment industry.”
“In recent times, as the world’s environmental challenges have received intensified focus, automobiles and construction machinery are becoming more and more electrified, automated, and sustainable. Stories of massive transformation are the top news headlines every single day. At our current pace, Tadano faces the threat of being left behind, far from the leader’s position in our industry. As the seventh chief executive of this company, I believe it is my calling to unite our diverse, global teams as One Tadano and together rise to the rank of a word-leading innovator. While I know that there are tremendous trials ahead, I thrive on constructive criticism and will continue to push forward with the guidance of my internal teams and the support of our valued stakeholders. ‘Pursuing further excellence for the world and the future’ and ‘Lifting your dreams’ are Tadano concepts that echo in my heart and mind. As Tadano turns the page into this new chapter, I humbly ask for your continued support.”
This is an interesting move and a little surprising, although Koichi Tadano will be 67 this summer and must at least be thinking of the next step in the succession process. Toshiaki Ujiie will be the seventh chief executive and the first that is not a member of the Tadano family, coming almost 102 years after the company was established by Masuo Tadano.
Ujiie joined the company two months after it had announced the acquisition of Demag from the Terex group and four months before the deal was completed. It is highly likely that he was brought on board to help with what was bound to be a tough integration process, bringing in new ideas and experience.
While the change is significant it is likely to go very smoothly and unlikely to trigger any major changes in strategy, at least in the short term.