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Toshiba CEO Stepping Down As Company Faces Record Loss

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The management changes at Japan’s consumer electronics giants continues, with Toshiba announcing today that CEO Atsutoshi Nishida will be stepping down in June, to be replaced by Norio Sasaki, pending board approval. The news comes as Toshiba is facing the prospect of a record loss forecast at over $2.8 billion for its fiscal year ending in March.

Nishida has headed Toshiba for four years, and spearheaded an expansion strategy for the company which is largely viewed has having been undermined by the recent economic downturn. Toshiba’s operations are sprawling, spanning everything from electronic components and memory to televisions to appliances to nuclear reactors, and Nishida’s tenure saw the largest acquisition in Toshiba’s history, a $5 billion stake in nuclear power firm Westinghouse. The company has recently been forced to streamline operations, although Toshiba did just ink a deal to take over Fujitsu’s hard drive manufacturing business. Nishida will become chairman of Toshiba’s board, and insists that his departure doesn’t have anything to do with Toshiba’s current financial state.

New Toshiba CEO Norio Sasaki oversaw Toshiba’s acquisition of Westinghouse’s nuclear power plant business, and currently serves as a senior vice president.

Industry watchers expect Sasaki will have to move quickly to improve Toshiba’s bottom line and reduce the company’s debt…and that might include selling off portions of the company’s businesses.