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Nuclear energy expert to take over as Toshiba president

Norio Sasaki will replace president and CEO Atsutoshi Nishida in June this year

Grappling with tough economic times, Toshiba Corp. has announced a shakeup in its top management that will see current senior executive VP Norio Sasaki take over from Atsutoshi Nishida as the company’s new president and CEO.

Nishida was elected president in 2005 and played an instrumental role in the purchase of U.S. nuclear power company Westinghouse Electric in 2006.

Fifty nine year old Norio Sasaki, a mechanical engineering graduate who joined Toshiba in 1972 and comes with a strong background in nuclear energy, nominated by the company’s board of directors. He is expected to replace Nishida in June, pending approval from shareholders.

"It is big responsibility to succeed the president in these tough times," Sasaki told a news conference.

The shakeup will see Nishida remain in the company by becoming chairman, replacing current chairman Tadashi Okamura who will take on the role of an advisor to the board.

Toshiba is facing tough times due to the economic slowdown that’s seen a slump in consumer demand for electronics. It announced earlier that it would lay off 4,500 employees by the end of this month in a bid to weather the storm.

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