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ValueAct Urges Ouster of Seven & i President Isaka, Citing Lack of Innovation

DEF 14 Inc. April 19, 2023

San Francisco-based investment firm ValueAct has issued a letter urging the ouster of Ryuichi Isaka, the current president of Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd., the Japanese retail conglomerate that owns the popular 7-Eleven convenience store chain.

ValueAct, which owns a 7.5% stake in Seven & i, has been critical of Isaka's leadership and has cited several issues that they believe warrant his removal. According to the letter, Isaka's "lack of strategic vision, inability to adapt to changing consumer preferences, and resistance to technological innovation" have all contributed to Seven & i's underperformance compared to its peers in the retail industry.

The letter also mentions specific incidents where Isaka's decisions have negatively impacted Seven & i's financial performance, including the company's failed acquisition of Speedway gas stations in the United States and its struggles in the e-commerce space.

ValueAct has recommended that Seven & i replace Isaka with a new president who has a stronger track record in innovation and technology. The investment firm also suggested that the company should explore strategic partnerships and potential mergers and acquisitions to drive growth and improve shareholder value.

Seven & i has not yet responded to the letter, but the company's shares have already seen a slight increase in response to ValueAct's call for change in leadership.

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