Billionaire founder of Nidec hands reins to ex-Nissan star

Japan Times -- Apr 28
Almost half a century after founding his pioneering motor-maker on the family farm, Japanese billionaire Shigenobu Nagamori is handing over leadership of Nidec Corp. to a former Nissan Motor Co. executive to lead an ambitious pivot into the electric-vehicle space.

Jun Seki will take over from Nagamori as chief executive officer, the Kyoto-based company said last week as it announced better-than-projected annual results. The leadership change, which comes a little over a year after Seki’s move from Nissan, will be finalized when Nidec’s board meets June 22. Nagamori, who founded Nidec in a shack in 1973, will remain chairman.

Seki, 59, was appointed president of Nidec after leaving Nissan, where he was vice chief operating officer and an unsuccessful contender for CEO after Hiroto Saikawa resigned amid a compensation scandal, following the shock arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

The shift comes as Nidec pushes aggressively into the EV supply chain, betting that it can build on its success as a manufacturer of motors for everything from hard drives to power plants. It’s zeroing in on traction motors, the second-most expensive component of an EV.

Seki said in an interview in December that Nidec will seek to make them cheaper and better, and wants to court Tesla Inc. Nidec has built a strong presence in China’s booming EV-parts sector, supplying motors to Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. as well as France’s Peugeot SA.

- Japan Times