TOKYO, March 26, Kyodo — Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant, will reshuffle its top management, promoting Director Tomoaki Kobayakawa to president, people close to the matter said Sunday.
The company, known as TEPCO and effectively controlled by the Japanese government, will finalize the new management team by the end of this month and seek shareholder approval in June, they said.
Kobayakawa, 53, will replace Naomi Hirose, 64, who will take up the new post of vice chairman responsible for compensation paid for damage caused by the nuclear disaster triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
Takashi Kawamura, the 77-year-old honorary chairman of Hitachi Ltd., will become TEPCO chairman, replacing Fumio Sudo, 76.
The management changes come as a government panel of experts is finalizing a business revitalization plan.
With the disaster cleanup cost now projected at 22 trillion yen ($198 billion), nearly doubled the 2013 estimate, government officials and the power company’s outside directors agreed that a new management team should lead fresh reform efforts, according to the sources.
Hirose has been serving as TEPCO president since June 2012. His appointment as vice chairman may face some opposition within the company as the move would effectively be a demotion, the sources said.
Kawamura is currently a member of the government panel discussing TEPCO’s new reform plan and has been credited with Hitachi’s successful restructuring.