Tadashi Yanai, founder and chief executive officer of Fast Retailing Co., which wholly owns Uniqlo, has expressed his preference for a female successor on Tuesday saying that the job is simply more suitable for a woman.
“The job is more suitable for a woman,” the 70-year-old — whose net worth is $24.8 billion, making him Japan’s richest man — told Bloomberg Japan. “They are persevering, detail-oriented and have an aesthetic sense.”
Yanai also acknowledged the possibility that this successor will be Maki Akaida, who was appointed to run Uniqlo Japan — the company’s most profitable unit — this year.
Additionally, he expressed his intent to increase the ratio of female senior executives to more than half the total — Fast Retailing has six women in such roles at present.
Akaida, 40, joined Fast Retailing in 2001. Aside from managing Uniqlo stores in Japan and China, she has also worked in sales and human resources.
However, Yanai pointed out that many women are reluctant to become managers because they are worried about changing their lifestyle. “I don’t think there’s a glass ceiling,” he said.