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Uniqlo founder Yanai to hand over presidency in two years

Uniqlo founder Tadashi Yanai is to step down from his role as president of Fast Retailing upon turning 70 in around two years time, but will continue as chairman in order to handle corporate governance and advise on how to proceed in the future.

Asia's largest fashion retailer, Fast Retailing owns casual clothing chain Uniqlo, GU, Theory, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse tam.tam and the J Brand. Earlier this month, the company posted record levels of full-year revenue, operating profit and net profit, booking a 148.2% hike in earnings for the year.

Now, Yanai says he plans to hand over the presidency in two years time and will look for a successor from within the company but denies either of his children – both executive officers at Fast Retailing – will take on the role.

Speaking to the Nikkei Review, Yanai said there is a need for the physical strength and technological know-how of young managers to make quick decisions and keep up with the ever-changing fashion industry.

"Young people must handle actual management," he told the publication. "The next CEO will be the most suited person among our current executive officer."

Meanwhile, Yanai also told the publication he plans to remain as chairman to handle corporate governance and advise on how to proceed in the future, adding "there's no such thing as retirement for founders".

Fast Retailing did not respond to just-style's request for comment at the time of going to press.

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