business

Kyocera, KDDI founder Kazuo Inamori dies at 90

5 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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His ideas spanned principles about fair competition, the proper pursuit of profit and the need for managerial transparency, as well as about living a virtuous life as an individual, for which he listed six principles: diligence, humility, reflection, gratitude, benevolence and detachment.

None of which exist in Japanese business.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He had a very strong Buddhist philosophy, and his focus away from 'Shareholder Value' on to 'Employee Happiness' infuriated many corporate leaders and financiers, who felt he should give the maximum returns to shareholders, possibly to the detriment of the company and employees, while he felt 'happy employees' led to a better and more profitable company in the long-term.

Interestingly, when he took over at JAL, he did it without a salary.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I’m pretty sure the only principle of his that corporate Japan took to heart is detachment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

His “revival” of JAL was helped by a complete write-off of its debt, cutting its defined benefit pension liabilities to already retired (and thus unable to adjust) employees by 1/2 and a cash infusion. All told about $9 billion in government largess that unlike GM, was not paid back.

Oh, and under the terms of this restructuring, JAL paid no income tax for 5 years even though it was in the black beginning in year 2.

So more of a bailout than a “revival.”

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He is the most decent businessman in the swamp of neo-feudal elites in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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