Toshiba Hires Ex-Sumitomo Mitsui Chief Kurumatani As CEO

February 14, 2018 – Toshiba Corp. said today it has named Nobuaki Kurumatani, former deputy president of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., to replace current Chief Executive Officer Satoshi Tsunakawa, who will continue to serve as president.

By appointing Kurumatani, versed in the nuclear business as well as business revitalization, Toshiba aims to bolster its management especially after the planned sale of its money-making chip unit Toshiba Memory Corp.

Kurumatani, 60, will serve as chairman and CEO from April 1 while Tsunakawa, 62, will concurrently serve as chief operating officer.

A graduate of the University of Tokyo, Kurumatani served as an executive at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking before assuming the vice presidency in April 2015. He has also been the chairman of British investment fund CVC Capital Partners since May 2017.

Toshiba today also said it expects a group net profit for the first time in four years for the full fiscal year through March, following the sale of claims and shares of its now-bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit.

The Japanese electronics maker now projects a group net profit of 520 billion yen ($4.8 billion), compared with November forecasts of a group net loss of 110 billion yen. Toshiba however, cut its previous group operating profit estimates of 430 billion yen to 0 yen. Sales were cut to 3.90 trillion yen, down from 4.97 trillion yen.

For the April to December period, Toshiba said it posted a group net profit for the first time in three years helped by its storage and electronic devices segment, which includes the brisk NAND flash memory chip sector.

Toshiba posted a group net profit of 27.04 billion yen after falling into a net loss of 532.51 billion yen the same period of previous year. Group operating profit fell 34.9 percent to 49.57 billion yen on sales of 2.80 trillion yen, down 1.2 percent.

The Japanese conglomerate was thrown into crisis last year, revealing massive losses stemming from its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co., which filed for bankruptcy protection last March.

Toshiba had projected its negative net worth would stand at some 750 billion yen at the end of March, but raised 600 billion yen through a third-party allocation of new shares in December. It further improved its financial standing last month following the sale of Westinghouse-related claims and shares, effectively removing the risk of delisting.

The company is also looking to sell its chip unit Toshiba Memory Corp. by the end of March to further improve its financial standing with the roughly 1 trillion yen proceeds.

In September, Toshiba picked a Japan-U.S.-South Korean group as the buyer for its chip unit to cover massive losses incurred by Westinghouse. Toshiba Memory is currently going through antitrust screenings in major countries.

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