Hitachi appoints md to steer European division

Hitachi has promoted deputy managing director Shutoku Watanabe to head its European home electronics division.

Watanabe’s promotion follows the departure of managing director Isao Onishi, who stepped down to return to Japan.

Watanabe will oversee the marketing budget, which is handled by advertising agency Hakuhodo UK.

A spokesman for Hitachi says the marketing budget varies depending on products launched during the year.

Last year, Hitachi Europe launched a &£3m press campaign, created by McCann-Erickson Windsor, aimed at the corporate business community, with the strapline: “Let us show you the future.”

Watanabe joined Hitachi in Japan in 1970 after university and became manager of product planning, before becoming head of UK product planning in 1996.

He takes over as Hitachi merges its IT products and consumer electronic departments.

“With the increasing convergence of home entertainment and IT products, the merging of Hitachi’s consumer electronics and IT divisions will improve the effectiveness of its teams,” he says.

“The merger will help strengthen and develop our customer-related sales and support activities and benefit all our dealers, not only in the UK, but throughout Europe.”

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