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Saturday, January 30, 2010

New board but not new blood

As part of the restructuring, Japan Airlines will replace its board of directors. Majority of the previous board will step down on February 8 2010 and JAL announced the new board members on Friday. Even though it's a new board, there isn't really any new blood unless you count Dr. Inamori!

The new JAL Board of Directors will shrink from 42 to 31 members because the position of managing executive officer is removed. And the average age is now 55 if you exclude Inamori who is 78 now. This is 2 years younger than the previous average. According to the press release,

With a younger, slimmer top management that is expected to comprehensively draw up and speedily implement effective measures, the JAL Group is determined to achieve a swift revitalization of the company.

I don't know if age is the problem here, especially the average age difference is only 2 years. I understand there is a need to maintain certain number of people who are familiar with the industry. But other than Inamori, everyone in the new board are promoted within JAL. They in some ways contributed to the failure too (they were all in some kind of management role before). JAL needs some new blood for new ideas. It's the ideas not ages that matter! Hopefully one mighty Inamori is enough to turn around JAL even he only works half-time :(

Resumes of the newly promoted directors can be found on the Japanese version of the press release.


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