Japan. Asahi to name beer unit’s chief as president

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Asahi Group Holdings has decided to promote the head of its beer subsidiary to president of the parent, The Nikkei has learned.

Asahi Breweries President Akiyoshi Koji, 64, will replace the holding company’s current president, Naoki Izumiya, who will transition to chairman. The beer unit will promote Vice President Shinichi Hirano to president. But first, the parent will hold its general shareholders meeting this March.

Asahi Breweries has steadily gained share in its mainstay beer business since Koji assumed the presidency in 2011. The company is the top player in Japan’s beer market.

Koji has also been credited with expanding group operations by successfully concluding acquisitions of overseas businesses as well as Calpis, a major Japanese soft-drink company.

He put Asahi Breweries on a firm growth trajectory by carrying out structural reforms. Koji also oversaw the development of a new medium-term business plan that started this year.