Facebook Hires Atsushi Iwashita As MD In Japan, Just After Local Rival Mixi Replaced Its Founder

Facebook has hired former McDonalds and Boston Consulting Group marketing exec Atsushi Iwashita as its new Managing Director for Japan

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Facebook has made some changes at the top in Japan. The worlds largest social network has hired former McDonalds and Boston Consulting Group marketing executive, Atsushi Iwashita as its new Managing Director (News Source: The Next Web). Interestingly, the change comes a day after Local rival Mixi replaced its founder with a new CEO.

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The appointment of Atsushi who was most recently CEO at brand consultancy firm Interbrand Japan, comes at very interesting time when the social networks of the country are reshaping their focus.

Mixi, the Japanese local social networking service which is competing against Facebook had recently appointed their new CEO, the second apparently in the last nine years. The change applicable on June 25 would mean Kenji Kasahara, Founder, President and the largest stockholder to hand over the presidency to Yusuke Asakura. Asakura has been with the network since 2011 when Mixi purchased his founding company Naked Technology.

Both Facebook and Mixi, which are neck and neck right now, are trying to get a strong hold in Japan by targeting the youth. Hiring a  young Asakura has given a clear hint from Mixi. Facebook had in fact overtaken Mixi last Spetember as it hit 15 million monthly active users in the country. But, Facebook of late has seen a drop in numbers along with Mixi but the drop for Mixi is not as sharp as Facebook.

It clearly shows that there is a lot of space in the market and players like Line, Path are already trying to grab the piece. Line, the local messaging app which recently posted its $58 million it made in Q1 2013 has shown the world how to make revenues from messaging apps. $17 million came from only stickers or emoticons. Path, the private social network launched its Asia-inspired Path 3.0 service, featuring stickers and virtual content.

So it’s not just Facebook and Mixi that are making the social network space appealing in Japan, and the recent changes are going to bring some good news for users.