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People to Watch in International Business

2 minute read
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen


She’s back on TV, but this time on the other side of the interview. Tomoyo Nonaka, 51, Sanyo’s new CEO, is better known as a charismatic news anchor and financial reporter. She is now charged with cutting the electronics giant’s work force by 14,000 and selling 20% of its factories to reduce debt. Some called the appointment of a business neophyte–announced two weeks after Sanyo forecast its worst loss ever–a p.r. stunt. “Numbers will show,” Nonaka responds. “But in the meantime, if people show interest in me and Sanyo for the publicity value, that’s great!” –By Toko Sekiguchi/Tokyo

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo NOKIA DIALS UP

Its previous boss took Nokia from creaky Finnish conglomerate to the world leader in mobile phones; Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo will have to make sure it stays there. As former head of the phone unit and CFO, Kallasvuo, 52, has the operational chops to succeed longtime CEO Jorma Ollila next June. But the landscape is far different from the one Ollila dealt with: cell phones are ubiquitous, sales are slowing, and margins are thinning. Nokia needs more cutting-edge products, as its two closest rivals, Motorola and Samsung, ramp up their attacks. Still, Kallasvuo is a good bet to answer that call. –By Lisa Takeuchi Cullen


The latest development to come down London–based AstraZeneca’s pipeline is David Brennan, 51, who will take over as CEO from Scotsman Sir Tom McKillop. The American’s marketing skills in his previous slot helped turn potions like antiulcer Nexium into blockbusters in North America. Astra’s surprisingly strong second quarter quieted some grumbling among shareholders about failed new products and other pipeline issues. Upcoming drugs to treat diabetes and cancer could help Brennan meet analysts’ optimistic projections. –L.T.C.

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