The Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship

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A Conversation with Takeshi Niinami

February 11, 2013



Mr. Takeshi Niinami is the Chief Executive Officer of Lawson, Inc., a major convenience store chain operator in Japan with over 11,000 store outlets in Japan, China, Indonesia, and the U.S. 

Mr. Niinami started his career in 1981 as a professional in sweetener products with Mitsubishi Corporation. In 1995, he founded Sodex Corporation (current LEOC Co., Ltd.), a medical food service joint venture between Mitsubishi and Sodexho of France. After Sodex, he initiated Lawson Project Management Department & Food Service Business Department in Mitsubishi. He joined Lawson in 2002 and was appointed President and CEO that year. 

Mr. Niinami is Vice Chairman of the Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives) and Chairperson of its Committee on Agriculture Reforms and Chairperson of its Tokyo Olympic Promotion Committee. He is also a member of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), and Executive Director of Japan Franchise Association. He is also Chairman of the Global Agenda Council on Role of Business, World Economic Forum. He is also a member of the Industrial Competitiveness Council of the Abe administration. 

Mr. Niinami attended Stanford University through an exchange program, received his Bachelor of Economics from Keio University and earned his MBA at the Harvard Business School.