Hitachi Taps New President, Plans to Spin Off Businesses

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The global economic downturn is claiming another victim, and Japanese electronics giant Hitachi announced today it is installing a new president (PDF) and making plans to spin off its auto and consumer electronics businesses into separate companies (PDF). The announcement comes as the company girds itself to post a massive loss for its current fiscal year.

First up, Hitachi announced that Takashi Kawamura will take the company’s reins as its new president, CEO, and chairman; Kawamura currently serves as chairman of Hitachi Plant Technologies and Hitachi Maxwell, Ltd. Hitachi’s current president, Kazuo Furukawa, will step down into a role as vice-chairman, and current chairman Etsuhiko Shoyama will be come a director on the company’s board.

Next, Hitachi has outlined a plan to cut costs by 500 billion yen during its next fiscal year starting in April, but noted that the moves will not likely lead to a revenue increase in the foreseeable future because of global economic decisions. In a move to make the company more limber, Hitachi also announced it is planning to spin off its automotive and consumer electronics companies into separate, wholly-owned Hitachi subsidiaries. Hitachi’s auto group makes products like LiIon batteries, while the CE arm makes everything from flat-panel TVs to camcorders, mobile phones, projectors, and audio gear.

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