Suntory’s Shigeru Sarada has announced that he is leaving the Suntory Flowers team as of April 1, 2013, to join Suntory Beverage & Food Limited.
With Sarada’s departure, the following individuals will be assuming Sarada’s responsibilities:
• Shunji Ueda, Licensing in U.S., Australia, New Zealand and other areas, global SCM, Head of International Business Division
• Masashi Matsumura, U.S. and Canada new projects, licensing to Japan
• Tsutomu Suzuki, EU, financial management
• Ryuichi Tachibana, Head of R&D Division
• Tokuro Morimoto, the President of Suntory Flowers will support the above Executive General Managers.
• Sayaka Ishikawa will be in charge of all activities for marketing and promotion in North America with Delilah Onofrey.
• Doug McQueen and his team will continue to develop Suntory Flowers’ websites and mobile sites, while expanding digital resources and capabilities Suntory has built through YESS! – Your Easy Suntory Solution.
• Junko Maruyama will handle plants logistics, Hidemichi Kawajiri will manage labels and commercial trials, and Yasuyuki Murakami will work closely with dedicated breeders in Japan, Vietnam and Australia to complete their missions.
Sarada sent a letter to friends and business partners announcing the news and thanking them for their friendship. The letter reads, in part:
“We are also thrilled to have young growers take a leadership role in championing Suntory varieties in the market. For instance, T. Jay Higgins of Sun-Fire Nurseries and Aaron McDonald of Botany Lane Greenhouse, will be recognized among the 40 Under 40 young industry leaders at OFA this summer. They bring great passion and energy to our team and we appreciate all they do to help us realize our vision of bringing value to our industry and consumers.
“It also has been gratifying to see partners like John and Merrybeth Barone of Barone Gardens grow their business dramatically by embracing the Suntory Collection and dedicating themselves as the source for the full line in the Northeast. We see this type of partnership as the best way to grow sales long term and we are happy to have dedicated growers representing Suntory Flowers.
“I’m very happy to guarantee that all of our team members have great experiences in different business areas, high levels of expertise to pursue the mission, and most importantly, the spirit of Suntory to contribute to the industry with high value products. From the very beginning, Suntory approached the flower business as a category creator with a ‘blue ocean’ strategy – creating new demand in uncontested market space. This spirit carries through to all I will be doing with Suntory in the food and beverage industry.
“I would greatly appreciate if you could extend the same warm support to our Suntory Flowers team members as you have given me in past 14 years. I will pass on all my knowledge to them to make this transition as smooth as possible and continue to offer guidance.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for all your support and partnership you have kindly extended to me during my stay. I wish you, your family, company and the industry all the best and continued success. I look forward to our paths crossing again.”