In what has been an unprecedented move for a country whose mindset is to put only males as leaders whether in the corporate or political streams, McDonald's Japan on Tuesday announced its top post will now be helmed by a woman in the person of Canadian Sarah Casanova.
Canadian Woman Sarah Casanova Appointed New McDonald's Japan
Ms Casanova's appointment should help enhance diversity at the company's board, outgoing CEO Eiko Harada said in a statement. Mr Harada served as president, chairman and CEO of the holding company and the operating unit since 2005. It was not known when Ms Casanova's appointment will exactly take effect.
"The Japanese market is really tough and it's in a downtrend," Mr Harada said. "In this situation, it's important for us to introduce the best management as quickly as possible."
Owned 49.9 per cent by McDonald's Corp, McDonald's Japan operates a total of 3,280 outlets.
Succumbing to a weakening yen and higher commodity prices, McDonald's Japan reported a 35 per cent decline in first-half net profit. Sales likewise dropped 11 per cent. Consequently, it decreased its full-year outlook for sales and profit.
Although spending per customer jumped 7.5 per cent, customer numbers however dropped by 10 per cent.
Canadian Ms Casanova has worked with the U.S. McDonald's Corp for 22 years. She was most recently managing director of McDonald's Malaysia, as well as regional manager of McDonald's Singapore and Malaysia since June 1, 2012.
Mr Harada will continue to oversee as chairman.
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