Japanese tycoon Kazuo Inamori was named as the next chief executive officer of Japan Airlines Corp. after the carrier completed a 90 percent, two-day stock plunge on speculation it will file for bankruptcy.
“I’m a total novice when it comes to the transportation industry,” Inamori, the 77-year-old founder of electronics company Kyocera Corp., told reporters yesterday in Tokyo. “I’ve decided to accept because the government and the turnaround body want to prevent JAL’s failure by any means.”
Inamori, Japan’s 28th richest man according to Forbes and a Buddhist priest, takes on the challenge of overhauling a carrier that has posted three losses in four years on slumping travel demand. JAL, Asia’s biggest carrier by sales, has lost about $2.5 billion of market value since Jan. 5 on concern the government will support bankruptcy as part of a turnaround.
Wikipedia notes that, "After retiring from the chairmanship of Kyocera; he was ordained as a Buddhist monk and received the priest name Dai-wa, meaning 'great harmony'. However, he remains a guiding force behind all aspects of his international businesses."
A bit of Japanese for all you folks out there: 大和, the name Inamori was given, is also the name of one of Japan's biggest securities firms, and the characters for daiwa also read as "yamato" in their "kun" reading (not borrowed from Chinese, in other words) refers to the name of the group of people who, from the region around Nara and Kyto, created the national entity known as Japan.
I will be visting Japan soon, and it's nice to know I'll be staying in a hotel whose eventual CEO is a Buddhist monk.
And for a bit more on right livelihood, see this post at Ox Herding.