Shiseido’s president and CEO Masahiko Uotani announced succession plans on Thursday that will see him step down within two years. As of Jan. 1, Uotami’s role will change to representative director, chairman and CEO, while Kentaro Fujiwara will assume the position of president and chief operating officer.

“Fujiwara and I will work closely together for two years managing the company jointly, and then we will see what happens after that. I don’t want to just pass the baton on suddenly,” Uotani said. 

Shiseido’s business grew 19 percent on a like-for-like basis in 2021, despite continued lockdowns in China. The growth of the business in China has been a cornerstone of Uotani’s globalization strategy.

In August, the company launched an innovations fund with Boyu Capital to explore investment opportunities in China’s emerging cosmetics and wellness brands, as well as related technologies, such as ecommerce.