Sakakibara Tapped to Become Kansai Electric Chairman

Economy Society

Osaka, March 19 (Jiji Press)--Preparations are under way for Sadayuki Sakakibara, former head of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), to take over as chairman of scandal-hit Kansai Electric Power Co. <9503>, sources said Thursday.

Sakakibara, 76, is expected to assume the post following a high-profile gift scandal involving senior officials at the power utility. A third-party panel investigating the scandal had called on the company to appoint a chairman from outside the company to boost corporate governance.

The position of chairman has been vacant since Makoto Yagi stepped down over the scandal last October. The company is expected to consider whether it can appoint Sakakibara to the post on a part-time basis, according to the sources.

The third-party panel released the final version of its investigation report on Saturday. Following the release, company President Shigeki Iwane stepped down and was replaced by Executive Vice President Takashi Morimoto.

In the report, the panel suggested that "inviting an insightful manager from outside the company as chairman will be effective in strengthening (corporate) governance and correcting corporate culture" at Kansai Electric.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press