On November 12, the HBS Club of Japan organized the annual Business Award Dinner at Josui Kaikan. This year the Business Statesman of the Year Award was given to Mr. Akio Mimura, President, Nippon Steel Corporation, and the Business Stateswoman of the Year Award to Ms. Mika Noguchi, President, Peach John Company. Mr. Masato Tsuru (MBA 1977), President of the Club introduced the honorees and presented the awards.
Mr. Mimura discussed the strategy of Nippon Steel since he took the helm in 2003. Taking advantage of the strong demand for steel in developing countries such as China, Nippon Steel has expanded its capital expenditure to pursue a growth strategy, and is registering the record profits. Mr.
Mimura also discussed how Nippon Steel dealt with Mittal Steel, which successfully completed hostile acquisition of Arcelor in 2006, and how he intends to defend the company in order to protect its high quality technology.
Ms. Noguchi discussed how she began her lingerie business with her former husband in 1994 and how she expanded the company, while raising her four children. In 2006, Wacoal, Japan's largest lingerie maker, acquired 49% of Peach John's shares. Recently, Ms. Noguchi sold her holdings to Wacoal in order to accelerate Peach John's growth by becoming Wacoal's wholly-owned subsidiary. Ms Noguchi explained that her most-often-asked question is how she manages her career and the family. Two of her sons attended the dinner.
(Masako Egawa, MBA 1986)