Supporting Stronger Governance and Promoting Sustainability from a Global Perspective


Outside Director (Independent)

Career summary

Mar. 1966
Joined MIZUNO Corporation
May 1978
Director of MIZUNO Corporation
May 1988
President (CEO) of MIZUNO Corporation
Jun. 2006
Chairman of the Board of MIZUNO Corporation
Jul. 2014
Senior Corporate Advisor of MIZUNO Corporation (Current)
Jun. 2016
Outside Director, Independent Director of the Company (Current)

Offering a Global Perspective Backed by Experience

For over 20 years, I served on the Olympic Committee (IOC) Sport and Environment Commission. Commissioners would often collaborate with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), an auxiliary body of the United Nations General Assembly, which enabled me to have discussions with experts across different fields at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Through these interactions, I gained invaluable insights, learning from a variety of global and specialized perspectives. Armed with this wealth of experience, I now assist the NISSIN FOODS Group in fostering a global perspective on sustainability, particularly regarding certain environmental aspects.

Furthermore, having been President and CEO of Mizuno, a leading Japanese sporting goods manufacturer, I am able to actively share my thoughts on the state of corporate management and brand strategy. The word “brand” is said to derive from the Old Norse word brandr, which means “to burn” and refers to the brand mark cattle breeders burned into their livestock to show that the animals belonged to them. In a contemporary context, branding is about carving out a distinct identity from other companies. In brand strategy, you must establish a unique competitive advantage that cannot be found anywhere else. This begins with the ideation process and continues with product development, advertising, and publicity. In this sense, among the companies I have observed over the years, I applaud the NISSIN FOODS Group for their meticulous brand strategies, which are rooted in extremely nuanced marketing.

The Gravitational Pull at the Heart of Nissin's Growth

Our board of directors thrives on vibrant discussions enriched by the diverse insights of our external directors. Currently, I chair the Management Advisory Committee, and I'm impressed with the measures in place to amplify the effectiveness of this committee and the board.

In terms of risk management, my work with Mizuno is guided by the mantra "Always be prepared." I see that the NISSIN FOODS Group similarly anticipates various risks and follows through with thorough precautions. Yet, in these tumultuous times where global circumstances remain unpredictable, forecasting the future proves challenging. Nissin is already expanding beyond Japan for robust operations in regions like the Americas, China, Asia, and Europe. Given the global nature of the business, inherent risks abound. As external directors, we must remain vigilant, ensuring the proper risk management functions are in place.

When it comes to succession planning, board discussions are grounded in fairness. What I seek in a leader is a compelling gravitational force, an assurance that when they speak, it resonates with unwavering trust and a willingness to follow. Nissin founder Momofuku Ando was one such leader who exuded an incredible passion and possessed a strong magnetic pull. The current CEO, Koki Ando, embodies this charisma and exemplifies true leadership capable of articulating a clear vision for Nissin's future. I believe that these qualities are important factors when selecting a successor. Take our business in the Americas, for instance. Despite taking on the risk of an average 36% price hike, sales volumes remained steady, generating significant profits. In an inflationary U.S. market, broadening our reach through relative affordability is no small feat. After all, growth doesn't come without risks. Had we stuck with the conventional low pricing strategy, substantial gains would have eluded us. I believe it is this legacy of allure and leadership that continues to propel the growth potential of the NISSIN FOODS Group today.

A Desire for Nissin to Grow with a View of the Bigger Picture and High Ethical Standards

As many companies make efforts toward achieving a sustainable society, the NISSIN FOODS Group is no exception as it pushes forward with its sustainability efforts. Notably, the Group offers great social value in ensuring “food security,” a state where everyone has access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. Its founder, Momofuku Ando, left behind the words “Create foods to serve society” (Shoku-so I-sei). Koki Ando carries on this legacy, actively contributing to communities by providing support for children, aiding in disaster relief through Nissin products, and striving to eradicate hunger. In an age of overabundance, COO Noritaka Ando has spearheaded the development and commercialization of the KANZEN MEAL series, which offers solutions to modern challenges like excessive calorie intake and hidden hunger due to an unbalanced diet. Additionally, Nissin's commitment to the environment is evident in its ongoing efforts to meet the objectives set out in its environmental strategy, “EARTH FOOD CHALLENGE 2030.”

Today, we face an increasingly uncertain future marked by deepening environmental issues and international turmoil, but I firmly believe that ethics should underpin anything we attempt to accomplish. Moving forward, I hope the NISSIN FOODS Group will demonstrate strong growth, equipped with a view of the bigger picture and a profound ethical desire to make the world a better place.