Leadership and Corporate Life

12 July 2012

6:00 – 7:45pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:45pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

With the global economy in the doldrums, companies everywhere face difficult challenges. Japanese corporate leaders have two decades of experience with a sluggish economy, and may be able to offer lessons for their UK counterparts about how to respond to the current difficult environment. British companies are being urged by the government to export more, particularly to the Far East, echoing Japan’s experience, that exports have indeed been a relative bright spot in recent years. But the Japanese corporate sector isn’t in great shape either. Iconic exporters like Sony are struggling to compete with Asian and American rivals, while the Olympus scandal has reminded us that Japan still has deep-rooted governance and audit problems.

So what should corporate leaders in both countries have uppermost in their minds? Our two speakers are well-placed to comment. As well as being former Chairman of Airbus Japan, Glen Fukushima is well-known as a commentator on a wide range of issues relevant to the Japanese corporate sector – from trade policy to the educational system. Stuart Lyons, meanwhile, has broad experience of the UK corporate sector. He was formerly CEO of Royal Doulton (for whom Japan is an important market), and is currently Chairman of furniture manufacturer Airsprung Furniture group. This is the fifth seminar in our 2012 series Leadership: People and Power in the UK and Japan.


Glen S. Fukushima

Glen S. Fukushima was President and CEO (2005 – 2010) and Chairman and Director (2010 – 2012) of Airbus Japan. He has worked in Japan since 1990 as a senior executive in four US multinationals and served as Vice President and President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. He has served on numerous Japanese, American, and European corporate boards and advisory councils and is a Trustee of Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives). From 1985 to 1990, he worked in Washington DC as Director for Japanese Affairs and as Deputy Assistant USTR for Japan and China at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. His book The Politics of US-Japan Trade Conflict (in Japanese) was awarded the Masayoshi Ohira Prize in 1993. He was educated at Stanford (BA), Harvard (MA, JD), Keio (Stanford-Keio Exchange Scholar), and Tokyo (Fulbright and Japan Foundation Fellow).

Stuart Lyons

Stuart Lyons is Chairman of Airsprung Group PLC, the furniture and mattress manufacturer. After graduating in Classics from King’s College, Cambridge, he joined the retail and clothing group United Drapery Stores, where he rose to be managing director. Following a takeover, he became chief executive of Royal Doulton, where he led both the business itself and the industry confederation, receiving a CBE for services to the china industry. He has been a member of the Ordnance Survey Review Committee, the Monopolies & Mergers Commission, and the Council of Keele University, a governor of Staffordshire University and Chairman of the West Midlands Development Agency. More recently, he assisted the Conservative opposition as a chief policy advisor and authored three influential publications for the Centre for Policy Studies, Can Consignia Deliver?, A Department for Business and Harnessing our Genius.

Dr Simon Learmount (Chair)

Dr Simon Learmount is University Lecturer in Corporate Governance at the University of Cambridge. He has recently been awarded the University’s Pilkington Prize, which recognises excellence in teaching. Prior to joining the University of Cambridge, Dr Learmount was founder and Managing Director of Saxoncourt Ltd, Director of Sales and Marketing at International Packaging Ltd and Shimomura Fellow at the Development Bank of Japan. His main teaching and research interests lie in the areas of international corporate governance reform and management practice; currently he is particularly interested in the training and development of senior executives and company directors. He has consulted to a number of organisations around the world, including the Tokyo Stock Exchange, BT, Rolls Royce, Coca Cola, BP, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and Roche. He has lived and worked in Japan, the US, France and Spain.