1. ‘Eccentric’ Japanese Billionaire Shigenobu Nagamori loves employees more than investors; yet makes shares grow five times

‘Eccentric’ Japanese Billionaire Shigenobu Nagamori loves employees more than investors; yet makes shares grow five times

Shigenobu Nagamori, chairman and CEO of Nidec, motor maker for hard-disk and optical drives, is famous for his eccentric management style.

By: | Updated: August 12, 2016 1:40 PM
Shigenobu Nagamori, Nidec, nidec ceo, management news, company news, japan inc, japan companies, japan stocks, nidec stocks, nidec shares, shareholders, employees, Nagamori, Shigenobu Nagamori style, Shigenobu Nagamori bloomberg For Shigenobu Nagamori it’s ambition which takes precedence over talent. In his autobiographical comic book, ‘The Man Hotter Than the Sun’ he says, “Motivated people can do anything if they work hard.” (Pic: Reuters)

Shigenobu Nagamori, chairman and CEO of Nidec, motor maker for hard-disk and optical drives, is famous for his eccentric management style. For Nagamori it’s ambition which takes precedence over talent. In his autobiographical comic book, ‘The Man Hotter Than the Sun’ he says, “Motivated people can do anything if they work hard.” He founded Nidec in the year 1973, and has since acquired more than 40 businesses. Nidec, with a valuation of $27 billion, sells most of the World’s motors for hard-disk drives, which has made Nagamori one of the richest men in Japan. An example of his eccentric style is, while most people would suggest to listen to shareholders, Nagamori does the opposite. Nagamori cares more about his employees. Interestingly, this approach has made Nidec’s shares grow exponentially by 457 percent since the global economic crisis in 2008. According to a Bloomberg report, this rise is about eight times bigger than that of the benchmark stock gauge. Recently the company acquired a $1.2 billion company called Emerson Electric Co. Now Nagamori is also looking to invest in motors for self-driven automobiles.

Nigamori believes employees have larger priority over investors beacause if the workforce is strong they can create a sustainable value for shareholders. Nagamori looks after his employees, and though it may come as a surprise to employees in companies in the western world, this is quite common in Japan. There is generally some form of job security, for the workers. If the employess put in hours into their work, even if they are not suited in a role, they are given a new one. Nagamori, 71, has been working in the company everyday since it’s launch more than 40 years ago, and may continue doing so. is right. Nagamori told Bloomberg that he while selecting his successor the only focus will be on the metric that who makes the most money for the company.

His love for employees more is more than investers can be reflected when he says, “When I’m asked by investors, I tell them they’re No. 1, but it’s not what I really think,” he says. “I speak my mind if shareholders ask strange questions at the annual general meeting. I tell them it would be better if the likes of you didn’t own our shares. I say I can’t choose my shareholders, but you can choose the company you invest in,” Bloomberg reported.

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