Nidec’s founder, Shigenobu Nagamori, returns as CEO as shares plummet

Apr 22, 2022 | Billionaire News

Shigenobu Nagamori

Following a sharp decline in Nidec’s stock price, founder and chairman Shigenobu Nagamori will return as CEO.

Nagamori, 77, will succeed current CEO Jun Seki, who will become COO. The Kyoto-based automaker’s operating profit fell 16.8% to 36.9 billion yen (about $288 million) for the three months ended March 31. Nidec’s stock is down 35% so far this year.

As reported by local media, Nagamori informed reporters and investors that the stock price was unachievable. “I wanted to throw a rock and break the stock display board.” Nagamori started Nidec in 1973 and is its main stakeholder. On the Japan Rich List, he was No. 5 with a $9 billion net worth.

Despite a 2.9% increase in net sales, Nidec claimed commodity shortages and production interruptions in China hampered profits. Shanghai’s March city-wide lockdown to combat the Covid-19 spread disrupted supply chains.

Nagamori named Seki, a senior Nissan Motor executive, president and COO in 2020. A year later, he became CEO. Nagamori expects Seki to be CEO again in three years.

It is the world’s leading maker of hard-disk and optical drive motors, but it has recently embraced the global trend toward electric vehicles. He wants Nidec to earn 10 trillion yen ($80 billion) by 2030, thanks to the company’s vigorous effort to make EV parts, which boosted shares by 150 percent in 2020.

The business concentrates on the e-axle, the EV’s “brain,” which regulates gear, motor, and power electronics. Nidec bought Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool last year for an unknown sum to develop e-axle transmission gear making. It also has a joint venture with multinational automaker Stellantis to mass-produce e-axles in 2022.

Nagamori, a farmer’s son, studied engineering at Tokyo Polytechnic. He founded Nidec believing that motors are the “heart of the industry.” On the Forbes Asia 2019 Heroes of Philanthropy list, Nagamori has donated at least 20 billion yen ($155 million) to educational and healthcare programs across Japan.

“Instead of being happy with my huge bank account, I’ve decided to utilize it to help where there are real needs,” Nagamori remarked in Muko, where he grew up.

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