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Toshiba America names new execs

Atsutoshi Nishida, who brought Toshiba to No. 1 in the U.S. portables market, will oversee rapid expansion into the desktop and server markets.

Toshiba America, which is on a campaign to enlarge its markets, today named several new executives.

Shunichi Yamashita has been named president and vice chairman; Atsutoshi Nishida will head the subsidiary Toshiba America Information Systems as president; and Masao Suga will serve as senior vice president of the subsidiary. The new positions take effect July 1.

Overall, Toshiba has captured 18 percent of the of the market for computers sold through retail channels, according to research from Computer Intelligence. But the company has been moving rapidly to expand its markets. It branched off from its successful portable computing business to offer consumer desktops last year and this year it has several new businesses under way.

In March the company rolled the Equium line of corporate desktops; servers and Net PC-class products are scheduled for later next year.

Yamashita, who last served as general manager of Toshiba's legal affairs division, will oversee the holding company for all of Toshiba's operations in the United States.

Nishida, who previously served as general manager of the company's personal computer division, was also named a vice chairman of Toshiba America.

Toshiba president Taizo Nishimuro said, in a statement, that Nishida was selected for his leadership skills and that the Information Systems business will play an increasing role in the company's development and product planning for software and hardware.

"Mr. Nishida is credited with being the architect of getting Toshiba in the No. 1 spot in portables in the U.S. market," said Bruce Stephen, an analyst with IDC Research. "He went back to Japan briefly and I think he's back to oversee the rapid expansion of Toshiba in the desktop and server markets."

Stephen said the computer maker had earlier encountered some "hiccups" with service and support for its desktops. It may not have achieved the initial success it was hoping for within the time period it had set for itself.

Stephen said the recent departure of Tom Scott, general manager, may have been the result that disappointment.

Meanwhile, Suga, who previously served as senior manager of North America operations, will oversee U.S. and Latin America computer systems operations. His duties will include overseeing the three divisions responsible for manufacturing, engineering, and sales and marketing.