- Hello Kitty founder Shintaro Tsuji is now signing off as the Sanrio’s CEO and handing over his former position to his 31-year-old grandson, Tomokuni Tsuji.
- It is the first leadership change that has happened to Sanrio for over six decades.
Hello Kitty founder
Hello Kitty as we all know, is a cartoon character without a mouth, decorated with a trademark hair bow has produced billions of dollars since its beginning that happened almost 50 years ago.
The simple line-drawn image of Hello Kitty has showed on several merchandise such as apparels, toys, stationeries and other school supplies, etc. Its target market usually involves young children especially the girls, but in its latest years, Hello Kitty has also managed to be popular among young adults and adults as well.
Although Hello Kitty’s founder did a long time of commitment with Sanrio, we can say that everything must go. Therefore, Mr. Shintaro Tsuji will formally retire from his role as Sanrio’s CEO on the first of July, 2020.
Sanrio is now at a turning point according to the analysis of Celia Hatton, an Asia Pacific Editor. Shintaro Tsuji established a gift company in the 1960s and immediately came to a realization that the products featuring “cute” designs hit the top of the company’s sales.
Because of this idea, Hello Kitty was created which then became an extremely popular and iconic Japanese fictional character.
On the other hand, Hello Kitty has a competition to win. The character’s sales have been going down inside Japan for years leaving Sanrio with no other option but to depend on its increasingly fragile business outside Japan.
Because of this event, Mr. Shintaro Tsuji has come to a decision to step aside and this action led the company to come at a turning point.
In Japanese tradition, CEO founders strive to pass on their positions as head of the company to their family members. Mr. Shintaro Tsuji’s son died because of heart attack in 2013. The successor after his late son was his 31-year-old grandson, Tomokuni Tsuji.
While Tomokuni Tsuji is taking over the CEO position of Sanrio, he has already promised to innovate the company and to let go of the outdated ideas. What might it be? Let’s hope that it doesn’t include Hello Kitty who is much older than the company’s latest CEO.
Currently, Tomokuni Tsuji is the senior managing director of Sanrio and soon, he will be considered as the youngest chief executive officer of a company listed on the Topix share index.
According to the AFP news agency, he coincidentally shares a birthday with Hello Kitty which is on the first of November but he is 14 years younger than the said cartoon character itself.
Last Friday, June 12, 2020, Tomokuni Tsuji told the press that he wants to transform the company to better respond to today’s rapidly changing environment.