Yoshizo Shimano, the former president of Shimano, passed away last week at the age of 85. Yozisho was the third son of the brand's founder, Shozaburo Shimano, and started working for the company in 1958 before becoming president in 1995.
Yoshizo is credited with leading the global expansion of Shimano as a company as he first set up its US sales division in 1965 followed by its European sales department in 1972 while an employee of the company. He further globalised the brand in 1998 when he made English its official language and provided classes to employees. By positioning the brand as a global force he was able to capitalise on the mountain bike boom in the United States and position Shimano as one of the major drivetrain players. Overseas sales now account for 90% of Shimano's revenue.
He remained part of the company’s leadership as chairman emeritus since 2011. The company is now headed by Yoshizo’s nephew, Yozo Shimano, who is the company’s fifth president after its founder, Yoshizo and his two brothers.
Press Release: Shimano
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our Chairman Emeritus and former Chairman Yoshizo Shimano. Yoshizo died of chronic heart failure at the age of 85 on July 3, 2020.
The contributions he made to Shimano's business cannot be measured and his impact will be felt forever. On behalf of our management team and employees, we extend our deepest condolences to his family.
The funeral has been held by close relatives, with his surviving wife, Ms. Ikuko Shimano, representing the family.
Our condolences and thoughts are with Yoshizo Shimano's friends and family at this difficult time.