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of Shimada Japan Factory-Yazaki Instrument Company and director of Yazaki EDS Samoa, Ltd. In 2003, he was transferred to Yazaki North America Inc., the hub of Yazaki’s business in the US. Currently as executive vice president of Yazaki North America Inc., he is responsible for all aspects of the Components Business Unit, including product design and development, quality assurance and cost maintenance of components, such as connectors and terminals.

Ko Yazaki was born in 1971, and he joined Yazaki just after he graduated from Keio University in Tokyo. Like his brother, he has held numerous key management roles at Yazaki Corporation and its core group companies, such as Yazaki Electric Wire Co., Ltd. He was transferred to Yazaki Europe Limited in 2003, and as executive vice president, he began to play an important role in growing Yazaki’s business in Europe. In particular, as one of the key suppliers to Toyota, he took the lead in helping Toyota launch Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobiles, a joint venture between Toyota and PSA to produce A-segment cars. In 2007, he was transferred back to Japan where he became a director of Yazaki Corporation. As a young director, he has been assigned to one of the key functions at Yazaki, namely logistics, and is expected to make significant improvements to the logistics at Yazaki.

All of the family members have taken senior management positions while they were young. In addition, all of them became directors of Yazaki Corporation in their twenties or early thirties. They faced tough challenges in these key positions, and in their efforts to overcome the challenges, they developed their management and leadership capabilities.

Currently Yazaki has three core operating locations: Japan, the US and Europe. The third generation of the Yazaki family is located overseas, where they have been asked to take the lead in growing Yazaki’s business in these important markets. They report directly to Shinji Yazaki, president of Yazaki Corporation and his brother chairman Yasuhiko Yazaki, who has supported all of their business initiatives as a mentor, brother and father.

Yazaki Family Tradition: Navigating with Consistency

Since its foundation, Yazaki’s corporate policy has been “a corporation in step with the world” and “a corporation needed by society.” This unchanging pillar, espoused by all three presidents of Yazaki, supports all of the business activities of the Yazaki Group. Despite the many changes that society has undergone, Yazaki operates with a uniform stance and code of conduct based on its corporate policy to fulfill its responsibilities and mission as a manufacturer of high quality products. The three presidents of Yazaki Corporation have all tried to create a multicultural corporation that can develop with the rest of the world. And they have created a unique corporate management and culture based on autonomy, equality and harmony. The third generation of the Yazaki family, Riku Yazaki and Ko Yazaki, will also adhere to this principle.

*Professor Kazuo Ichijo of IMD wrote this article based on Yazaki’s 2006 Social & Environmental Report and his interviews with the Yazaki family.

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