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Sanyo President Toshimasa Iue to Resign

The president of struggling electronics maker Sanyo Electric, Toshimasa Iue, will likely step down in April to take responsibility for poor earnings and accounting troubles, Japanese media reported on Tuesday, a week after Sanyo's chairwoman resigned.

Sanyo spokesman Akihiko Oiwa said nothing related to the company's management had been decided.

Kyodo news agency said the management change would be decided at a board meeting on Wednesday. The Yomiuri daily said Iue, a member of the Japanese company's founding family, will remain as a director, but his father, Satoshi Iue, a former president and chairman who is currently an adviser to the firm, will resign and leave Sanyo.

A successor is expected to be named from within the company, the paper said. Sanyo's chairwoman, Tomoyo Nonaka, quit on March 19.

The company faces an investigation by Japan's securities watchdog into possible accounting problems and heads for its third straight annual loss due to heavy restructuring costs and sluggish sales.

The Yomiuri newspaper said Iue's plans for mid- to long-term rebuilding of the company conflicted with the wishes of top investors such as Goldman Sachs Group for a quick turnaround by selling its mobile phone and digital camera divisions.

Sanyo's combined net losses for the three years to March 31 are expected to total about $3.6 billion, reflecting the costs of cutting thousands of jobs, weak sales of core products and the lingering impact of earthquake damage to a semiconductor plant in 2004.

These conditions forced Sanyo to issue 300 billion yen worth of preferred shares to Goldman Sachs and two other banks at a deep discount last year.

The Osaka-based company said last month it was considering restating its parent-only earnings for the four years to March 2004, following a newspaper report that it may have failed to account for more than $1 billion in losses.

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