Seven & i Holdings [3382:JP], operator of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, is seeking to have members from outside the firm make up the majority of its board, as reported by Nikkei Asia on March 28. The Japanese retail behemoth plans to have at least seven independent outside directors on its present 13-member board, up from the original number of five. The board reorganization proposal will be presented to Seven & I Holdings’ annual shareholders meeting at the end of May.
The Japanese government has proposed new rules that will take effect in April, requiring companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s (TSE) new Prime section to have a majority of their board directors come from outside the firm. As of 2021, 81.5% of TSE-listed businesses had two or more outside directors, while only 6.3% had more than half, according to Nikkei Asia. In order to increase its presence in the global convenience store industry, the Japanese retailer is looking for more independence and experience on its boards. It plans to have 50,000 overseas stores by 2025, excluding those in the US, representing a 30% increase over the fiscal year ending February 2021. Similarly, China is undertaking the initiative to push state-owned firms to enhance the modern enterprise system as quickly as possible. Over 90% of state-owned firms’ subsidiaries have a majority of board directors from outside as of February 2022.