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Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson succeeds her father as chairman, unifying the positions

Fidelity Chairman Edward C. Johnson III said in an internal memo on Monday that his daughter, CEO Abigail Johnson, will succeed him as chairman of the financial services company, unifying the two positions.

Johnson III will become "chairman emeritus," consulting periodically with his daughter and the board of directors, according to the memo, which was obtained by CNBC. He described the move as a "natural progression of Abby's 28-year career at Fidelity," and said he has never felt more confident about the company's future than he does now.

"Throughout Fidelity's long history of growth, our dual commitments to our customers and to innovation have served us well," Johnson III said in the memo. "By investing in technology and using the Kaizen method of continuous improvement, we have built a strong brand, industry-leading positions and multiple profitable businesses."

Kaizen is a Japanese concept of incremental and perpetual improvement in the management of an organization.

Reflecting on his nearly 60-year career with the company, the outgoing chairman said that while Fidelity has enjoyed much success, the investment management industry is being transformed by changing customer preferences and new regulatory requirements.

He emphasized his belief that the company is prepared to seize the opportunities in the changing competitive landscape.