(From Reuters)

Japan’s Seven & i (3382.T) named an executive backed by U.S. activist investor Daniel Loeb as its new leader, ending two weeks of management turmoil at the $90 billion retail group in a case seen as a test of corporate governance in the country.

A shopper is seen behind a Seven & I Holdings' logo at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Tokyo October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato
A shopper is seen behind a Seven & I Holdings’ logo at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Tokyo.

Seven & i, Japan’s biggest retail group, said its board on Tuesday nominated Ryuichi Isaka, currently head of its profitable convenience store unit Seven-Eleven Japan, to be the president of the parent.

Isaka, 58, a career insider at Seven-Eleven Japan, has been credited with driving the growth of the convenience store chain. In an open letter addressed to Seven & i’s board in March, Loeb had called Isaka the leading candidate to helm the group.

But earlier this month, Isaka was targeted by Seven & i’s charismatic CEO Toshifumi Suzuki for an ouster, which failed after a close board vote, leading to the 83-year-old Suzuki resigning his post.

The leadership fight at the 7-Eleven parent is a sign of improving corporate governance in Japan as the board refused to rubber-stamp the powerful CEO, analysts have said. Read more

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