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TOKYO — 7-Eleven Inc.’s parent company is inching closer to naming a new president.
According to several media reports, Tokyo-based Seven & i Holdings Co.’s nomination committee selected Ryuchi Isaka to be its next president. Isaka is the preferred candidate of Daniel Loeb, a U.S. activist investor.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the naming of Isaka likely ends a power struggle that resulted in Chairman and CEO Toshifumi Suzuki abruptly quitting the company. Suzuki planned to oust Isaka from the company’s top ranks, but the measure was defeated by one vote on April 7, the news source reported.
Isaka, 58, would succeed current Seven & i Holdings President Noritoshi Murata, who is also resigning. Isaka has been credited with helping fuel growth at 7-Eleven convenience stores.
Loeb, who runs hedge fund Third Point LLC, owns hundreds of millions of dollars in Seven & i Holdings shares. He praised Isaka in a March 27 letter to the company’s board of directors.
“Mr. Isaka has been instrumental to the success of Seven-Eleven Japan, which is the group’s core business,” Loeb wrote, adding the successor to Suzuki should “have a vision to profitably grow the 7-Eleven store network in Japan, North America and other countries.”
Analysts believe Suzuki’s departure could accelerate corporate restructuring, meaning a shift toward “more selective business portfolio management,” the news outlet reported.
Seven & i’s U.S. division, 7-Eleven Inc., is based in Dallas and operates 8,297 American c-stores.