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Balancing offense and defense to improve enterprise value over the long term

Interview with External Board Directors

Article for Annual Report 2018 (October, 2018)

Governance Leading to Concrete Actions

Naoki Izumiya

Naoki Izumiya
External Board Director

Mr. Izumiya joined Asahi Breweries, Ltd. (current Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.) in 1972. During his career at Asahi Breweries, he worked as President and Representative Director from 2010, Chairman and Representative Director, CEO from 2016, and has been Chairman and Representative Director since 2018 (his current position). He has been an External Board Director of Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. since June 2018.

Q: What is your impression of Recruit Group?

Recruit Group has a very solid management strategy. The story of how the Company creates enterprise value is impressive, setting up a business and moving steadily towards goals. Their management strategy is clearly linked to Recruit Group's sustainable growth and increase in enterprise value over the mid- and long-term. The top executives are all quite young, and demonstrate an aggressive, speedy yet very transparent response toward management issues. They have a burning energy that pervades the entire organization.

Q: How would you evaluate corporate governance?

When a company expands its business through M&As, operations become more global and more diverse, the amount of information gathered continues to increase, and changes in the makeup of top management happen. Various measures tend to be introduced to deal with these changes. Many people might imagine that governance is directed from the top down, but there are a lot of things that you may fail to notice unless you visit each local office and examine actual conditions. Not only is it necessary to provide a framework to direct operations, it is even more important to fill in the specifics with concrete actions.

A Sense of Balance and Risk Awareness

Q: What is Recruit Group's role in society?

Recruit Group's business model itself is based on social contributions. For example, by matching job seekers with employers, it offers people worldwide a chance to work in a job that suits them. For those who lack the money for schools or education, Internet training programs provide a learning opportunity and a chance to live a more prosperous life. I think it is remarkable how much Recruit Group accomplishes merely through its core businesses, and it is a place with dreams. It is only Recruit Group that can move towards the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Q: What is your role in all these activities?

As an external board director, naturally my first priority is to fulfill my fiduciary duty to shareholders of Recruit Holdings, and to make sure that important management issues are addressed in a transparent, fair and objective manner. Therefore I have an important role in monitoring the execution of business plans. At the same time, I consider it my role expected to support how Recruit Holdings increases enterprise value over mid- and long-term, noting and addressing risk factors.