Haruka Nishimatsu, president & CEO of Japan Air Lines (JAL), is now one of the most popular Japanese figures posted on YouTube since CNN reported on him as a modest CEO. CNN covered his commuting by public transportation and lunch at the company's cafeteria together with other employees.
“We have been receiving emails and phone calls from in Japan and overseas. Some of them are from people showing their respect for Nishimatsu, while others say he is a role model for CEOs," says a spokesperson for JAL.
In November, CNN reported on Nishimatsu's working style and the fact that he commutes every day by train. His salary is 9.6 million yen a year, which is much less than the CEOs of America's Big 3 automakers, for example. Nishimatsu says: “I'm just doing the right thing.”
A spokesperson for JAL explains: “Mr Nishimatsu reduced his own salary because the minimum annual salary for employees in management positions, who were offered early retirement, was 9.6 million yen.” He adds, “That measure, however, was a temporary thing for 2008. We changed the policy in 2008, and he now returns 60% of his salary as other executives do. He of course uses the company car when it's necessary.”
Nishimatsu's wife told Shukan Post after she took her husband to the nearest station from their house: “It's natural that his salary has been decreased in the current difficult economic situation.” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)© Japan Today