Hidetoshi “Hide” Kaneko has recently been appointed as the Managing Director of Panasonic South Africa. As the former Vice President for Panasonic Corporation of North America, located in New Jersey, USA, this appointment draws on his considerable experience in logistics, manufacturing, supply chain, engineering, sales, marketing, after service and retail. It is this breadth and diversity of experience which has given Kaneko the uniquely holistic perspective which distinguishes his ability to grasp issues, develop strategies, and effect end-to-end solutions applied to the South African context.
Kaneko’s three-month tenure thus far has been nothing short of a shake-up. Kaneko has restructured Panasonic’s internal departments to maximise efficiency, implemented a membership programme and revised Panasonic’s marketing strategy. Most prominently, his tenure has seen the implementation of Panasonic’s Finance initiative in order to make Panasonic’s innovative products available to everyone. According to Kaneko, “We believe that all South Africans should have the opportunity to better their lives through Panasonic technology, and our newly-launched Finance Initiative makes this possible. Now everyone can gain access to innovative products for the betterment of their daily lives.”
Recently, Panasonic has claimed a spot in the top 10 Best Regarded Companies globally, according to the Forbes Global 2000 List of 2017. These companies were reevaluated on numerous factors, including trustworthiness/honesty, social conduct, the company’s perception as an employer and the performance of the company’s product or service. Kaneko believes that this accolade is a reflection of the company’s global ethos to create a better life and a better world for all members of society. “As a company, we have always been committed to the evolution of society and to the happiness of people around the globe. We have a responsibility to enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of people across and throughout the world; we are very proud that these endeavours are recognised.”
2018 rings in 100 years of technological innovation for the organisation, and it is Kaneko’s commitment to advancement and quest for zero defect that keeps Panasonic creating high-quality products that consumers love. Kaneko’s vision for the next year is to continue to uphold Panasonic’s core principles – contribution to society, fairness and honesty, co-operation and team spirit, untiring effort for improvement, courtesy and humility, adaptability and gratitude – in his endeavour to make Panasonic products easily accessible to the everyday South African consumer.