Mizuho Bank president to step down due to system failures

TOKYO — Mizuho Bank President Koji Fujiwara will leave his position as early as the end of this month to take responsibility for the company’s recent widespread system glitches, Nikkei learned on Thursday.

Fujiwara, 59, will also not assume the chairmanship for which he was appointed earlier this year. Group CEO Tatsufumi Sakai, 61, will keep his job but may face a salary cut, the details of which Mizuho Financial Group is still working out.

Dozens of staff, including executives, will also be held responsible for the system failures. The banking group already named Masahiko Kato, 56, in February as the new president of the banking unit.

Mizuho Bank suffered four system failures in two weeks starting at the end of February, including the temporary suspension of more than 70% of the company’s ATMs in the country.

The financial group announced in February that Fujiwara would retire as president in April and become the bank’s chairman. But in mid-March, after the series of glitches, Mizuho rescinded the appointment, and Fujiwara was kept as president, tasked with preventing a recurrence.

A third-party committee is investigating the circumstances and causes of the failure. It will make final recommendations based on the contents of the report, which is expected to be published by early next week. Mizuho began finalizing the personnel plan on June 10.

In other moves, Chief Information Officer Satoshi Ishii, 57, will vacate his position, and Koji Yonei, 59, former managing exective officer, is the most likely candidate to take over. The company is planning to invite executives from IBM Japan to take on the roles of handling the accounting system.

Mizuho is planning to hold its AGM on June 23. The company has decided that to regain the confidence of shareholders, it is necessary to reshuffle management. The Financial Services Agency will consider administrative sanctions after interviewing and investigating Mizuho’s officers and employees.


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