October 11, 2023
Seiko Group Corporation
Wako Co., Ltd.
Seiko Group Corporation (Chairman & Group CEO, CCO: Shinji Hattori; head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan; hereinafter "Seiko") and its wholly owned consolidated subsidiary, Wako Co., Ltd. (President: Shuntaro Ishii; Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter "Wako") jointly announce the appointment of Kiyoko Niwasaki, a Seiko Executive Vice President, as President of Wako, effective November 1, 2023. This marks the first time that a woman has been named president of a major Seiko Group company. On the same day, Shuntaro Ishii, the current President of Wako, will transition to the role of Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Wako.
Ms. Niwasaki joined Hattori Seiko Co., Ltd. (now Seiko Group Corporation) in 1986. Since 2001, she has led the global marketing of its flagship brands, Grand Seiko and Seiko 5 Sports, at Seiko Watch Corporation. Since 2020, she has also served as a board member of both Seiko and Wako, leading the Group's branding initiatives (using SEIKO HOUSE GINZA as a central content hub), and has played a key role in developing and implementing Wako's growth strategy.
In order to respond to rapid changes in society and in the business environment, and to spur further growth for the Group, Seiko as a holding company and Wako as an operating company will introduce a new management structure that takes advantage of the female perspective. Ms. Niwasaki will not only focus on sales growth, but also help to promote Wako's globalization, creating a broader platform and user base for this luxury retailer.
Seiko's Board of Directors approved the new management appointments on October 11, 2023. Ms. Niwasaki will retire as Executive Vice President of Seiko on October 31 and take up her new role at Wako on the following day. She will be succeeded at Seiko by Hiromi Kanagawa, who currently serves as a Director and Executive Vice President of Seiko Watch Corporation.
Biography of New President of Wako Co., Ltd.
- Date of Birth:
January 20, 1964
Graduated from Japan Women's University, Faculty of Humanities
- Career History
1986: Joined Hattori Seiko Co., Ltd. (now Seiko Group Corporation)
2013: Senior Vice President and General Manager, Public Relations Department of Seiko Watch Corporation
2015: Director, Senior Vice President of Seiko Watch Corporation
2018: Director, Executive Vice President of Seiko Watch Corporation
2020: Executive Director in charge of Corporate Branding of Seiko Holdings Corporation
2021: Current position: Director, Executive Vice President of Wako Co., Ltd.
2022: Current position: Executive Vice President, Seiko Group Corporation, responsible for Corporate Branding, Public Relations, and ESG and SDGs Promotion
History of Wako Co., Ltd.
1881: K. Hattori, a watch and clock retail and repair store (now Seiko Group Corporation) is founded.
1894: Kintaro Hattori acquires the Choya Shimbun newspaper office building on the corner of Ginza 4-chome intersection, and erects the first clock tower. Business operations commence in 1895.
1932: Construction of the current (second) clock tower is completed.
1945: U.S. Allied Forces confiscate the K. Hattori & Co., Ltd. building, causing the K. Hattori Retail Division to temporarily relocate operations to a sales office in Ginza 5-chome.
1947: Wako Co., Ltd. is established as the successor to the Retail Division of K. Hattori & Co., Ltd. (now Seiko Group Corporation).
1952: The military seizure of the building ends, allowing the store to return to Ginza 4-chome, where it reopens under the Wako name on December 8.
2008: The building undergoes significant renovation, reopening in November, and receiving the designation of Heritage of Industrial Modernization from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) the following year.
2022: The iconic building is renamed SEIKO HOUSE GINZA, and the famous Wako store officially becomes the "Wako Co., Ltd. Main Store"
Seiko Group Corporation
Public Relations Department
Wako Co., Ltd.