Sojitz Corporation


Development of Future Leaders

Basic Approach

Sojitz Corporation conducts a wide variety of businesses through more than 400 Group companies around the world. For our company, continually and systematically developing human resources who can manage our operating companies is an important task.

We are working to develop employees who can oversee the businesses that will constitute Sojitz’s earnings foundation in the future. That means having employees, with their diverse backgrounds, undergo a number of training modules based on Sojitz’s business philosophies and the Sojitz Guiding Principles, as well as giving them opportunities for on-the-job training.

Business leaders to operate Group companies

Sojitz’s business departments and corporate departments collaborate to develop successors who can take over management of businesses. The entire company is working together to improve the skillsets of operating company management and provide candidates with new opportunities tailored to their development needs by understanding the pool of candidates, assessing the business side’s needs, and bringing in available employees from outside of the business division as necessary.

Corporate leaders to manage Group companies

We are increasing opportunities for key personnel handling corporate functions to be transferred to operating companies where they oversee Sojitz Group’s business. We are also working to give them chances to gain experience as independent directors or audit and supervisory board members at project companies worldwide. In this way, we hope to create a cycle whereby these employees, after leaving the operating company, can use that experience in a management position at Tokyo headquarters.

Among the diverse employees at Tokyo HQ who have repeated this cycle, we select some for special training to develop them to be core management at Group companies in the future, and we conduct 360-degree surveys as necessary, to continually have managers work to improve their management style.

Training for Selected General Managers

Since 2011, we have held "action learning"-based training for general managers who are specially selected, where they come together to discuss their organization’s business and the issues facing their organization with an external consultant. This helps managers strengthen their ability to strategize and manage their organization. Using the results of the 360-degree survey and objective pointers from the external consultant, the general managers review their strategy and vision for the organization, thereby refining their ability to strategize, identify root issues, lead teams, and motivate stakeholders. It aims to give them the means of not only etching out a strategic vision, but making those strategies more realistic and attainable. A total of 15 managers who participated in the general manager trainings held for specially selected managers have been promoted to the level of executive officer or higher. (As of April 2022)

Since FY2021, Sojitz has offered an executive coaching program for managers, including senior management candidates and newly appointed general managers, among other managers. This program, which provides coaching by leadership experts, supports the onboarding process for new roles and allows Sojitz to determine which employees will be the best candidates for future management positions.

Sojitz also conducts an employee exchange program in which managers are seconded to companies in a variety of industries. The program aims to allow employees to cultivate the qualities of a corporate leader, acquire advanced management skills, and network with management teams from other companies.

Sojitz’s HR system assigns ranks based on the individual’s qualities, abilities, and drive, regardless of age or gender. Individuals are then evaluated according to the job grade in question. Since introducing the system, we now even see employees in their 30s taking up the reigns of management at Sojitz Group companies. We will continue to do our best to place every employee in the most appropriate post, so that the employees that possess those qualities and abilities required by the segment or business environment are involved in management of the business at an early stage in their careers.

Related Links

Business Divisions’ Efforts to Systematically Develop Future Leaders

The Automotive Division encompasses approximately 4,600 people working at 29 offices around the world. Turning out future business leaders who have accumulated on-site experience while contributing to its region’s growth, employment, and talent development has become an increasingly critical issue for the division. The division has thus introduced its own training program targeting all age groups, to accelerate professional development through active promotion and placement of management resources across businesses and national borders. Additionally, the division has established a goal of fostering “business development-focused employees,” aiming to create employees who can give back to society by creating new functions and businesses in response to changes in the automotive industry, such as electric and self-driving vehicles.


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