Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Appoints new CEO

Seiji Izumisawa
Seiji Izumisawa

Published Feb 6, 2019 7:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has announced the appointment of Seiji Izumisawa as President and CEO effective April 1, 2019. He will remain Chief Strategy Officer as well. 

He succeeds Shunichi Miyanaga, who will take on the role of Chairman of the Board after six years as MHI's executive leader. 

Izumisawa assumes the role of President and CEO after serving as a Member of the Board, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of the Business Strategy Office since June 2018, his latest position in a more than 30-year career at MHI. In his previous role, Izumisawa played a key role in developing the Group's growth strategy and organizational and product portfolio transformation as part of the Medium Term Business Plan. 

During his tenure as President and CEO, Miyanaga led the successful transformation of the MHI Group's structure, growing revenues from $30 billion to $38 billion, expanding the global workforce from 68,000 to 80,000 and doubling the number of employees outside Japan to 28,000. He also worked to overcome challenges related to the Group's cruise ship business and U.S. nuclear arbitration.

Commenting on the appointment, Miyanaga said, "MHI Group is now at a turning point as it transforms into a new type of conglomerate which is focused on delivering significant added value through the scale and profitability of our core manufacturing business, our technological edge and competitiveness, all backed by a strong brand. MHI now requires a leader who can bring the organization closer together, listen to diverse opinions and identify a clear path ahead. I have every confidence in Mr. Izumisawa to deliver growth for the company, based on his broad technological background, balanced judgment, perseverance, sound decision-making and execution capabilities."

Izumisawa said MHI will use its collective strengths as a conglomerate to take on the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. “The company will venture into new areas and new technologies; incorporate artificial intelligence into our existing offerings and develop next-generation solutions in new areas like cyber security. I am honored to take on this new challenge working in partnership with our 80,000 employees around the globe."

Executive Biography – Seiji Izumisawa

Seiji Izumisawa is President and CEO, as well as Chief Strategy Officer of MHI effective April 1, 2019, where he leads one of the largest manufacturing and engineering companies in the world with over 80,000 employees worldwide, consolidated revenues of $37 billion, and products ranging from power systems, aerospace and industry and infrastructure plants and machinery. He was promoted to this position from Member of the Board, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, Head of Business Strategy Office.

Izumisawa joined MHI in 1981, starting his career in the Technology Management Department at MHI headquarters, where he worked on the management of technology trials and horizontal application of technologies across the entire company.

In 1985 he moved to Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works, where we worked in the Space Project Department on projects including the space station and the foundation of Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS) to support NASDA (now JAXA).

In October, 1991, Izumisawa returned to MHI’s Technical Headquarters and spent 21 years there devoting himself to the management of the company’s overall technological administration. His major achievements during this time included shifting R&D resources to projects close to commercialization and building a mechanism to demonstrate their effectiveness. He also opened up an internally-focused R&D organization to one which successfully mixed external and internal resources, and brought together a localized and decentralized R&D structure into a centrally-managed organization. He rose to General Manager of the Technology Planning Department.

From 2013 to 2016, Izumisawa moved to Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, where he became Senior Executive Officer and Member of the Board. He headed up the quality control function of that company where he implemented strict quality control processes and instilled a quality mindset among employees.

In 2016 he returned to MHI where he became Senior Vice President and Senior General Manager of the Technology Strategy Office, then becoming Member of the Board, Full-Time Audit and Supervisory Member in June 2017, then Member of the Board, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, Head of Business Strategy Office in June 2018.

In his spare time, Izumisawa is a passionate practitioner of Kendo (a traditional Japanese martial art resembling fencing), and holds Kyoshi, the second highest rank in the sport. He and his wife have a daughter and a son.