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Sharp replacing president after huge loss expected for 2011

The electronics company is shuffling its leadership as it faces a sluggish market and a big loss forecast for fiscal 2011.

A shift in top management comes amid a tough climate for LCD TV sales.
A shift in top management comes amid a tough climate for LCD TV sales. Sharp

Sharp will appoint Executive Officer Takashi Okuda as its new president effective April 1, replacing President Mikio Katayama, the company announced today.

Katayama will transition to his new role as chairman of the board of directors but without any representative rights, according to Nikkei.com. Chairman Katsuhiko Machida will step down to become a special adviser.

The shift in leadership comes amid ongoing financial woes for the Japanese electronics maker. Falling prices on LCD TVs and a robust yen have both hurt the company's bottom line. For the nine months ended in December, Sharp saw its revenue drop by 18 percent and its operating income fall by 86 percent. The net loss reached 213 billion yen ($2.5 billion).

Citing the debt problems in Europe, worries about a slower global economy, and the impact from the yen, the company recently lowered its forecast for fiscal 2011, which ends March 31.

Sharp sees operating income as flat, down from its prior estimate of 85 billion yen. And instead of a net profit of 6 billion yen, the company expects a loss of 290 billion yen ($3.5 billion).

"It is my aim to unite the company and revive our fortunes by changing our business model," Okuda said in a statement published by The Verge. "We have a lot of unique technology, and the ability to produce one-of-a-kind products is in our genes. If we give it our all, we still have a chance."

Okuda joined Sharp in 1978 and worked his way up the ranks, becoming an executive officer for the company's global business in October, focusing on sales in emerging markets.