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Thursday, Jun 8, 2023

Toshiba Chief Nominee Had Six-Year Tenure in OC

he executive in line to take over Toshiba Corp.’s struggling global operation and tarnished brand spent six years in Orange County leading a key U.S. unit based in Tustin during his long tenure with the Japanese conglomerate.

Satoshi Tsunakawa, who was nominated last month following the public downfall and resignation of former Chief Executive Hisao Tanaka, ran Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc. from 2004 to 2010, when he was promoted to lead Toshiba Medical Systems Corp. in Japan, which generates about $3.6 billion in annual sales.

It’s common for Japanese companies to appoint rising executives to lead U.S. units, and ultimately bring them back for expanded duties at headquarters.

The Tustin unit is part of New York-based Toshiba America Inc., which markets, sells, distributes and services diagnostic imaging systems, including computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, ultrasound and X-rays.

The medical systems business, which has customers that include Gates Vascular Institute, Texas Children’s Hospital and Pinnacle Health, is one of several U.S. Toshiba units based in Orange County that together contribute about $7 billion annually to the parent company, which posts sales of $61 billion and employs 191,000 globally.

Tsunakawa, who joined Toshiba in 1979, could be appointed to the helm this month at a board meeting in Toyko.

He would inherit a company in deep turmoil around the world and in transition locally.

An accounting scandal last year revealed that senior management overstated profits by about $1.2 billion over a seven-year period, prompting the resignation of Tanaka, Vice Chairman Norio Sasaki, and eight board members, and leaving the conglomerate financially battered, facing record losses, deep job cuts and other potential divestitures.

The Business Journal reported that Irvine-based Toshiba America Information Systems, which handles U.S. sales and marketing of TVs, laptops and consumer memory products, among others, recently cut 200 workers, or 20% of its work force, and exited the consumer PC business.

The parent also plans to sell the 26-acre office and industrial campus at Irvine Spectrum that housed some of its medical systems operating unit employees. It recently sold the unit to Canon Inc. for $5.9 billion.

Ingram Exec Exits

Timo Tervolin, who led negotiations in Ingram Micro Inc.’s pending $6 billion sale to Chinese conglomerate Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co. Ltd., is leaving the company to take on the role of vice president, strategy and corporate development, at Nokian Tyres PLC in his native Finland.

The Nordic tire manufacturer is one of the world’s largest, with annual sales of about $1.5 billion.

Tervolin, who joined Ingram Micro in 2012 as senior director, head of global mergers and acquisitions, was scheduled to take the new post today, possibly signaling the close of the Ingram transaction.

The world’s largest distributor of technology products will retain its Irvine headquarters and become a unit of HNA Group, a Hainan-based Fortune Global 500 company with major operations in aviation, tourism and logistics.

Ingram posted sales of $43 billion last year and is by far the largest company by revenue in Orange County.  

The deal, which was awaiting U.S. and international antitrust approvals as of press time, is subject to a $400 million termination fee.

Wide-Angle Sales

Aliso Viejo-based 360fly Inc., which recently raised $40 million in a Series C financing round to boost global sales and marketing efforts for its breakthrough 360-degree 4K camera, has started distribution.

The $500 device is available directly through its website and at U.S. retail locations, including Best Buy, Target, REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart and specialty retailers. The camera will be released internationally in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Latin America, Canada, South Africa and China. 

360fly has raised nearly $58 million since it was established in 1999.

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