Recruit Holdings has assigned External Board Directors and External Audit & Supervisory Board Members with a high degree of independence to effectively supervise our Executive Board Directors and management team.
Independent External Board Director Naoki Izumiya has a strong background in advanced PR branding strategies, a track record of cultivating management talent, and extensive experience enhancing enterprise value through aggressive acquisition of overseas companies and creation of synergies through those acquisitions.
Independent External Board Director Hiroki Totoki has deep insight cultivated through management of a global corporate group with complex business portfolios and experience leading new business development projects in the Internet field.
Additionally, Rony Kahan, a non-Executive Board Director and co-founder of Indeed, has deep expertise and broad relationships in the HR technology industry. Through this, he provides both supervision and advisory functions with a long-term perspective in order to help accelerate the global expansion of our business and increase the enterprise value of Recruit Group in a sustainable manner.
Embracing disruptive elements as opportunities
As a Board Director, I believe I can contribute the most by leveraging my experience in the HR technology field in the US to help navigate the dramatic changes facing our industry. I take a long-term perspective and look five to ten years into the future, and ask difficult questions such as, how will the HR landscape evolve? What changes will AI and robotics bring? What will job seekers want, and what new technologies should we pursue to meet those needs?
It's critically important to be ready to adapt to these disruptive elements, embracing them as opportunities. I am confident that we can do this: Recruit Group has always been at the forefront of change, and in fact, in our areas of business we are often the ones driving it.
New technologies also offer the potential for collaboration across our Group. Each of our businesses has unique strengths that have helped them become leaders in their fields, and closer collaboration can help unlock further potential in all areas.
From my US perspective, I see our governance system as being quite unique in that we have four Audit & Supervisory Board Members, including two external members, whose primary role is to audit the Board. They examine policies and decisions from multiple angles, and provide extremely valuable perspectives that are unique to each of them. They help enhance the effectiveness of Board of Directors Meetings as a whole.
Diversity and a culture of openness are sources of strength for the Recruit Group
External Board Director
One year after my appointment as an External Board Director, I now understand that the source of the Recruit Group's strength is in its diversity. The focus is on hiring talents, and I believe that bringing together professionals with diverse capabilities and skills is what makes the organization strong. Moreover, my initial impression of the management being young, quick to act, and highly transparent remains, and I genuinely feel that the organization has incredible energy and power constantly flowing within it.
As Recruit Group is a group with such momentum, my role as an External Board Director is to provide a mid- to long-term perspective, which also includes looking at the risks. Therefore, I prepare thoroughly for Board of Directors Meetings to serve appropriately and ensuring that I include all of the items that I need to raise. In addition to the Board of Directors Meetings, there are many other opportunities for information sharing, and I think it's good to be able to have discussions in advance from a broad perspective. This kind of corporate culture of openness is one of the strengths of the Recruit Group.
Also, the Recruit Group has established voluntary committees, and I serve as the chairman of the Nomination Committee. Succession planning is not only about appointing a successor, but also setting up the mechanism. I believe I can contribute to the Recruit Group due to the fact that I have first-hand experience of building a mechanism to designate a successor.
Strengthening corporate governance, enhancing diversity of the Board of Directors
External Board Director
It has been more than a year since I became an External Board Director at Recruit Holdings, but my impression of Recruit Group remains the same as it was when I took up the position — that of being youthful, energetic and with the potential for rapid growth.
External Board Directors act as spokespeople for the shareholders, and I am fully aware of the important role we serve in preventing conflict of interests arising between shareholders and management. To that end, the amount and quality of information we can obtain is important — and the Group understands this. For example, we are given the opportunity to visit and hear directly from the front lines of businesses in the Group's overseas bases. With this kind of background knowledge we can then offer informed opinions and ask quality questions during Board meetings.
This open stance towards External Board Directors also contributes to enhancing the accountability of Recruit Group to its shareholders.
On the other hand, the current Board of Directors lacks diversity, particularly in terms of gender. In that sense, I appreciate that Recruit Holdings has announced that it will nominate at least one female Board Director candidate by the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders in 2021. Recruit Group is a company that has put a priority on diversity since the outset, so I believe that the Group's diversity will continue to evolve going forward. Recruit Group has set a goal of becoming a global leader in the HR Matching business, and in order to achieve this, I believe that it is important for the governance system to also meet global standards.