Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV (HCME) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Takaharu Ikeda as its new President and Chairman of the Management Board as of 1 April 2021. His previous role was Vice President and Executive Officer, and President of the Life Cycle Support (LS) Group at Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. in Japan. He replaces Mr Makoto Yamazawa, who has come to the end of his tenure at HCME after five years based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The road to HCME
Having graduated in Economics from Keio University, Tokyo, in 1982, Mr Ikeda started his career with Hitachi Construction Machinery when he joined the Sales Administration department. After ten years, he was transferred to Deere & Company before returning to Japan in 1994 to take up a four-year stint in Hitachi Construction Machinery’s Sales Promotion department.
Following managerial roles in the Planning Group, Sales and Service department (1998-99) and Japan division (1999-2002), Mr Ikeda’s career path led to appointments such as: General Manager of the Sales Administration department of the Kansai Regional office, Japan Division (2002-04); the Sales Planning department of the East Japan business division (2004-08); the Corporate Planning department of Hitachi Construction Machinery REC (unified Hitachi rental company, 2008-09); and Sales Administration department (2009-13).
The road to HCME then saw Mr Ikeda accumulate experience as: Vice President and then President of the Marketing division (2013-15); and the Executive Officer of Hitachi Construction Machinery and Managing Director of Hitachi Construction Machinery (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (2015-18). He joined the LS Group (parts, services and Remanufactured components) in 2018 after his time in China. In his free time, the new HCME President enjoys playing golf and walking with his family.
Broad base of experience
This broad base of domestic and international experience will prove beneficial to Mr Ikeda in his new role. “Hitachi Construction Machinery has given me the opportunity to work in sales, service, rental, computer systems and supply chain management,” he explains. “Added to my invaluable experience of working in the USA and China, I am looking forward to becoming immersed in HCME’s systems, customs and culture, and meeting the challenges that lie ahead.
“Europe is the most advanced and competitive market in the world. Customers’ requirements are broad and changing continuously, and should be responded to without delay. Decarbonisation, electrification, ICT machines, multi-purpose attachments and 24/7 monitoring are good examples. HCME’s authorised dealers are extremely important partners and they are facing customers every day to exceed their expectations. Listening to the voices of the customer and dealer is always the first step to provide a range of reliable solutions.
“In addition, another priority is to reinforce the enviable reputation built by my predecessors at HCME, which was in fact established as Hitachi Construction Machinery’s first overseas operation nearly 50 years ago. I really appreciate what Mr Yamazawa and his formidable team have achieved over the past five years, with many positive business developments in response to customer demand.
“Together with HCME’s authorised dealer network and my new colleagues, I will take on this mantle and build on the foundations required for the company to become the number one solution provider. We will continue to differentiate our product through the launch of the new -7 range and service offerings with the expansion of the value chain business.
“These will help us to enhance our strength and improve profitability, despite the unpredictable nature of the global marketplace. I shall look forward to working with everyone and enhancing HCME’s current activities to be stronger than our competitors.”