Koshiro Kudo to become new President of Asahi Kasei

28 February 2022

Asahi Kasei has announced a change in the company’s management. As of April 2022, Koshiro Kudo will assume the role of President and Representative Director. The current President Hideki Kobori will become Chairman of Asahi Kasei.

Koshiro Kudo takes over the position in a robust business setting as the recently presented quarterly results show. Asahi Kasei disclosed its financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2021, on February 9, 2022. In terms of EPS, JP¥35.59 (€0.27) per share was reported. Last year, Asahi Kasei had earned JP¥23.93 (€0.18) per share. Compared to the same period of the previous year, Asahi Kasei achieved an increase in sales of 17.6% in the past quarter. Sales amounted to JP¥643.70bn (€4.86bn). In the same quarter of the previous year, JP¥547.30bn (€4.17bn) were on the accounts. The full-year forecast announced in November 2021 remains unchanged with expected JP¥2453.0bn (€18.72bn).

Koshiro Kudo was born on June 5, 1959, on the island of Kyushu in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, in southwestern Japan. He graduated from the renowned Keio University in Tokyo in March 1982 and started working for Asahi Kasei the following month. After holding various positions, Kudo be-came head of the ROICA™ business unit, producing premium stretch fibres from elastic polyurethane filament, in May 2008. He pursued his career in the field of technical textiles and filaments in the following years, becoming President of the Fibers & Textiles Strategic Business Unit (SBU) based in Osaka in 2017.

Two years later, new responsibilities were added as President of the Performance Products SBU, in addition to fibres and textiles, he was in charge of the business with engineering plastics, synthetic rubber, elastomers as well as household and packaging materials. Kudo was also involved in the establishment of a new department for mobility materials, launched in April 2020 to focus on products for the automotive sector.

The new President of Asahi Kasei will continue the successful strategic work of his predecessor Hideki Kobori, who has significantly shaped the Group since 2016. The steady management in the Corona pandemic as well as the focus on sustainability, carbon neutrality and bio-based productions processes are milestones of his work as President. Similarly, back in 2016, the Asahi Kasei Group moved to an operational holding structure and divided its business areas into Material, Homes and Health Care, resulting in efficient collaboration within the company.

During his presidency, Kobori further expanded Asahi Kasei’s global presence. One key achievement was the successful establishment and development of Asahi Kasei Europe’s business activities since April 2016. Furthermore, he was responsible for focused business development activities including capacity expansions for battery separators, filaments for airbags, synthetic rubber and virus filters. This also included the strategic positioning focused on the automotive and medical sectors with the important acquisitions such as Sage Automotive Interiors in the USA, the Swedish sensor company Senseair as well as Veloxis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., focused on the commercialisation of immunosuppression medications in the United States.

Continuous focus on automotive, health care and sustainability
With 40 years of corporate experience as a solid foundation, the new President will lead the company into a new century of its history, as Asahi Kasei celebrates its 100th anniversary in May 2022. The coronavirus showed how important people’s lives and health are. Asahi Kasei will deepen its operations in the medical business with solutions that can tie together offerings in the chain of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and aftercare making its Health Care operations into a third pillar of business alongside Material and Homes.

Furthermore, Asahi Kasei is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, looking to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% until 2030. Therefore, Koshiro Kudo will also be continuing the operations of the Sustainability Strategy Planning Department, with efforts now being made around activities that contribute to creating a sustainable society under a unified company-wide policy. The Green Solution Project, a new organisational unit directly reporting to the company President will also be one of his main responsibilities.

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