Canon appoints first British managing director

Electronics giant Canon has started its worldwide policy of employing non-Japanese in top-level management by appointing Martin Laws its UK managing director.

Laws takes over this week, when former head Yukio Yamashita transfers to Japanese headquarters.

A spokesman for the company says Laws – who joined the cameras-to-photocopiers company in 1976, when it first set up in the UK – is the first non-Japanese managing director for a Canon division.

Ian Gravener, field operations/sales director, has been moved into a new position of deputy managing director. The company says the management changes could lead to a staff restructure.

Laws, who was previously financial director, will oversee a yearly advertising budget of more than 8m.

The UK company had a turnover of 436m for the year to December 31, 1994 and has more than 2,500 staff.

Yamashita joined Canon UK from Canon Europa in 1980 and has been involved in setting up Canon Research Europe at Guildford.

The spokesman says the Japanese parent company plans to let more of its worldwide divisions appoint their own senior management.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here