A New Prez for DoCoMo?
By John Alderman, Mon Apr 12 16:15:00 GMT 2004

It looks like NTT DoCoMo has picked a successor to president Keiji Tachikawa.

Shiro Tsuda, currently a senior vice president, seems to be the chosen one. The choice will be made official in June, at a shareholder's meeting. He, like Tachikawa, started his career as an engineer at NTT.

Reviews of Tachikawa's leadership mix praise for vision and depth of understanding with criticism that this forward-looking vision might have impaired his decisions.

While some have referred to him as "the ideal of an internationally-minded engineer-turned-executive" some point to wrong choices like expanding as the market slowed, and misjudging the readiness of the market to accept 3G.

Two years ago, at the height of a downturn, looking back without regret, he said, "if we did not take risk at that time, we could not see any chance to expand i-mode-like services in overseas markets." He pointed to i-mode's acceptance in Germany as an example of the strategy on its way to success.

Elsewhere he described the situation facing companies that sit on the cutting edge, explaining his bets on growth: "No matter how advanced your technology may seem at a given point, once consumers get used to it, they want more, and that is what we have to constantly provide. Generational changes used to take a decade or so, but nowadays we have to come up with major service enhancements every couple of years."