Nikon management shakeup


Nikon announced the resignation of their Chairman of the Board Makoto Kimura. Several other directors and officers will also be replaced (see the full list here and here). Some additional corporate changes will take place on June 29th:

Nikon announces reorganization of corporate structure

May 19, 2017 Nikon Corporation (Kazuo Ushida, President, Tokyo) announced today the reorganization of its corporate structure as outlined below, scheduled for June 29, 2017.

The Core Technology Division is to be closed, establishing the Research & Development Division and the Production Technology Division

Nikon has decided to close the Core Technology Division and establish the Research & Development Division which dedicates to research and development, and the Production Technology Division which integrates the functions of group production strategy planning and production technology development, etc.
With this change, Nikon reorganizes the corporate structure in a way that clarifies functions and responsibilities in order to revitalize the group-wide research and development structure and enhance the efficiency of the production system.

Establishing the Healthcare Business Unit

Nikon is integrating the Medical Business Development Division and Microscope Solutions Business Unit, to establish a new Healthcare Business Unit. This will enable the company to integrate/optimize organizations and functions rapidly, creating business synergy. Nikon will boost existing businesses and accelerate creation/nurturing of new businesses in the healthcare, medical and biological fields, which are anticipated to grow in the future.

Closing the Business Support Division

To optimize group-common functions regarding procurement, engineering and logistics, as well as quality- and environmental-management, Nikon has decided to close the Business Support Division and relocate each function formerly handled by it.

New organization

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  • vwking

    The new Nikon structure looks similar to how many American high tech companies structure themselves. It’s an acknowledgement of how different departments need to be staffed by people who can best contribute to the tasks necessary for their respective functions. Usually, R&D are staffed with people who are idea generators, sometimes accused of being dreamers, but are not necessarily good at implementation and attending to details. Process Technology (or Prdct Dev) are staffed with people who are great at doggedly working on getting a project to its successful conclusion, but they are usually not big picture thinkers and would not be comfortable with vague trends and concepts. I wish Nikon the best.

  • Bill Ferris

    A couple of observations…Ushida-san will be assuming more direct authority within the company, adding the Optical Engineering and R&D divisions to his direct reports. I would take this as an indication that the board likes his vision and approach, and want him to have more direct control over these two key areas. Nikon built their international reputation after WWII largely on their optics. That and the development of new technologies (i.e. new revenue streams) are key to Nikon’s future.

    Also, Odajima-san will be promoted to senior VP for Human Resources. I suspect he was a key player in the recent reorganization and workforce reduction, and Nikon wants his leadership for the workforce changes yet to come. We’re going to hear of more early retirements, layoffs and personnel restructuring.

  • SPshooter

    Oh is gonna be long stressful work starting back from ground zero.

    • Carlo

      They are not starting from zero. They have learned something and are using the past experiences to create a more appropriate management matching today’s demanding business. Not saying they will be more successful … But maybe now they will be a bit more reactive and stop counting only on their past history to sell cameras.

      • SPshooter

        That’s only time will judge now I prefer not to dream anymore & time to wake up.

  • bgbs

    About time

  • Michiel953

    So, once again. Most commenters here (also those who should know better) seem to think these restructurings are directly related to their personal feelings of dissatisfaction with Nikon as a camera and lens maker.

    They are not.

    • Brubabs

      So what are the restructurings related to? You seem to know the answer to this question but are holding back for some reason.

      • Michiel953

        If course I don’t, and, more importantly, I don’t pretend to know either.

        But I’m pretty sure it’s not the constant whining and moaning on this site.

        • Chewbacca

          I want an everlasting gobstopper and a goose that lays golden eggs. Give it to me….NOW!

    • Bob Thane

      Doesn’t meant the problems we observe with Nikon aren’t related to their business. While I’m sure they didn’t read comments on Nikonrumors and decide to swap CEOs, I’m willing to bet that the performance of the imaging division was part of the discussion.

      • Michiel953

        Possibly. But it’s also possible that the imaging division is performing in accordance with stated targets, and other divisions are not.

        We don’t know.

  • The problem is that Nikon already introduced the CX mount for the Nikon 1. I doubt they can fit a DX sensor inside the CX mount. They are in a bad position – they have to either kill the CX mount and come up with a new one or continue with the CX.

    • MB

      The bigger problem is that yet another mirrorless DX system would not mean much … and Nikon needs very very much 🙂 … so it is either FX or bust for Nikon …

      • Yes, so even if they can fit a DX sensor in the CX mount, it will not help them much. Introducing and supporting a third mount will be tough. The best option is to officially announce the end of the CX mount and start from scratch. Or go with the F-mount.

    • David

      1.7x is apparently the largest that could be fitted, which is not bad. The simple solution (maybe, I have no idea) would be to just reuse a DX sensor and only activate the 1.7x crop. If nothing else, a 50mm finally becomes an 85-mm equivalent!

  • Antonio

    You didn’t read my comment well because I was reffering the rumores about the possível Canon FF mirrorless camera coming with EF mount and comparing the two questening why would Nikon be a disaster and Canon a success in terms of competitiveness.

  • PhilK

    I assume the investment in Corning pertains mostly to flat panel display cover glass, not lenses.

  • a new beggineing of better workers.

  • wallybrooks

    markets are efficient and brutal. Management may or may got have a good understanding of their market. They may think they know, have ego to lead and not know, guess right, guess wrong. The market decides and self corrects. Manager San don’t like it? Hire a carpenter, build a bridge, and get over it.

  • Kári Jensson

    Im not worried im selling my nikon gear anyway and switching before it goes under :p

    • Please explain how financial results of a company affects your photography. I think you have to run your own business as a good photographer? Doesn’t make any sense to sell gear based on speculations.

  • Dan Dunnum

    It is an org chart. They are restructuring and people are leaving sort of… It will be interesting to see how the changes impact customer service and product development.

    Hope the changes make them more innovative and customer focused. Time will tell more than an org chart.

    • Please explain how financial results of a company affects your photography. I think you have to run your own business as a good photographer? Doesn’t make any sense to sell gear based on speculations.

  • Murat Sahan

    I want to know if Thom Hogan or Ken Rockwell is on the new board, else its going to fail 😉

  • Restructuring a company is one thing, being efficient as a company another one – doesn’t mean that both goes hand in hand. It could be so easy: Nikon! Listen to your customers or to Thom Hogan.

  • I’d rather get $200 from 150 million buyers, than $695 from 10 million buyers.

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