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Messages from External Directors

August 2017

Strategic Development of
Prospective Leaders
through the Start of the
Co-Creation Management Academy
Etsuko Okajima External Director

I see MARUI GROUP’s co-creation management as a highly sophisticated social experiment through which a sort of "MARUI GROUP ecosystem" may be created. MARUI GROUP’s stakeholder management, which entails creating needs together with the Company's stakeholders to provide value, is an undertaking that has significant meaning to society. MARUI GROUP has also recently been working together with venture companies to create new value. All of these initiatives would not be possible without President Aoi’s keen foresight.

However, the type of leadership exercised by President Aoi is not the traditional type of leadership that essentially involves issuing orders. Rather, it is a gentler type of leadership that involves cultivating understanding within employees to inspire them to act voluntarily. President Aoi accomplishes this by holding frequent forums for explaining his strategies, establishing several Groupwide project teams based on volunteer participation, and involving employees that interact directly with customers and are highly knowledgeable about frontline operations in the process of producing innovation through co-creation. MARUI GROUP’s corporate philosophy contains the phrase "equate the development of our people with the development of our company." This philosophy drives the Company to foster employees capable of thinking and acting autonomously, which contributes to the propensity for decisive action and the swift exploration of options that are characteristics of MARUI GROUP.

My background is in supporting the development of leadership skills. I am active in discussions regarding the strategic cultivation of future presidents and other members of management at meetings of the Nominating and Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors, and I have helped create the future leader development program. When it becomes time to appoint a new president in 10 or 20 years, the requirements of management will have grown more complicated, making the position even more challenging. Bold structural reforms require the foresight necessary to conduct management from a long-term perspective, looking at least 10 or 15 years into the future. The Co-Creation Management Academy was established with an eye to long-term management. Through this program, we will select around 20 employees aged 20 to 49 from among applicants with the aim of strategically cultivating a total of 200 prospective leaders over the next 10 years. After completing the program, participants will put the concepts they learned to practical application as they are given opportunities to make management decisions under uncertain circumstances.

Career History
(As of June 26, 2017)
  • Apr. 1989Joined Mitsubishi Corporation
  • Jan. 2001Joined McKinsey & Company
  • Jul. 2005Representative and CEO,
    GLOBIS Management Bank
  • Jun. 2007 President & CEO,
    ProNova Inc. (Incumbent)
  • Jun. 2014External Director,
    Astellas Pharma Inc. (Incumbent)
    External Director (Incumbent)
  • Mar. 2016 Outside Director,
    Link and Motivation Inc. (Incumbent)