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New boss restructures struggling Hitachi

HITACHI Ltd will replace its president and spin off two businesses after the Japanese company forecast a record loss, Bloomberg News reported.

Takashi Kawamura, 69, will replace Kazuo Furukawa on April 1, the company said yesterday. Hitachi plans to spin off its automotive systems and consumer units on July 1 and reduce costs by 500 billion yen (US$5.1 billion) in the 12 months ending March 31, 2010.

It has also announced that it will cut as many as 7,000 positions after forecasting in January it will post a record 700 billion yen loss in the year ending March 31.

Electronics companies worldwide have been forced to cut jobs and investments to cope with the global recession.

Kawamura currently serves as chairman at Hitachi Maxell Ltd, a unit making rechargeable batteries and compact discs, and Hitachi Plant Technologies Ltd, which produces water-treatment systems and industrial machinery.

Revenue at the company's automotive systems group, comprising lithium-ion batteries, inverters and small-size motors, will total 280 billion yen next fiscal year, Hitachi said, equivalent to about 2.8 percent of total sales forecast.

Sales at the consumer operations division will total about 160 billion yen next fiscal year, Hitachi said, or 1.6 percent of overall revenue.


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