Management Team

Management Team

Yoshihiro Maeda

Creating a new industrial structure which where numerous innovations occur and maximizing the productivity of the entire industry

From the very beginning I have placed huge importance on making people happy and wanted to make an effective contribute to society.

After working for a manufacturing company and a consulting firm Maeda founded the company when he thought the industry structure should be thoroughly changed. He recognized that problems industry in Japan were now faced with, that is, a lack of connection between manufacturing businesses and the resulting huge opportunity losses. He said, “in the age of a declining birthrate and aging population with shrinking Japan’s GDP, I believe the role of business matchmaking service becomes more and more important for sharing information in the industrial community and increasing the productivity.”

In the current stage of Linkers’ organizational development, he has been interested in business minds of successful startups, so he spends most of his few days off reading business books. While commuting, he listens to audio programs on Audible. He recently listened to an audiobook, Dale Carnegie’s Lincoln the unknown.

Mar 2000 graduated from School of Engineering, Osaka University
Apr 2000 joined Kyocera Corporation (Overseas Sales Division)
Feb 2006 joined Nomura Research Institute (NRI) and engaged in various projects including sales/marketing strategy planning, business strategy planning, M&A strategy planning, and support for Western and Asian enterprises, mainly in manufacturing industry
Apr 2012 found Distty (currently Linkers)
Jul 2012 became a navigator of Tohoku Economic Federation Business Center Marketing Support Team.
Oct 2015 received an Excellence Award of the 14th Japan Innovator Award organized by the Nikkei BP
Feb 2016 received the Grand Prize of the 1st Nippon Project Design Award organized by the Graduate School of Project Design
Oct 2017 became a member of the IoT Support Project Committee of Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute (present post)

Executive Vice President
Hidenobu Kafuku

Eliminating various barriers for flexible industrial structure makes the world really interesting

Kafuku has an interest in space technology and studied rocket technology at university. At graduate university, his attention turned to computational fluid dynamics which simulates flow through human heart.

He aimed to be an engineer at first but felt doubt about the current situation where engineers’ hard work had not been rewarded properly, so he joined a large think tank for building the world where engineers are duly rewarded for their efforts. Being sympathetic to Maeda’s idea of restructuring the industry structure, he joined the company.

“The goal is to remove barriers in the industrial space; an entry barrier, organizational barrier, hierarchical barrier, and so on. I believe that eliminating various barriers for flexible industrial structure makes the world really interesting,” he said.

He was immersed in scuba diving when he was a student, and his fondness for the sea even took him to Miyagi prefecture in midwinter to work on a tuna boat as a part-timer. “The work was very hard and crazy but very interesting,” he smiled.

Mar 2001 graduated from School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Tohoku University
Mar 2003 graduated from Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
Apr 2003 joined NRI Consulting Division, engaged in consulting business in manufacturing and energy industries including market and technology research, business strategy planning, technological strategy planning, and overseas business deployment support
Apr 2013 became COO of Distty (currently Linkers)
Jul 2017 became Executive Vice President of Linkers (present post)

Director, General Manager of Management Administration, CFO
Koichi Egashira

Aiming to build a “money making administration department” as a foundation enabling the younger generation to develop the company in a stable manner

“Speedy business expansion as Linkers does is often attended with ‘a growing pain.’ The role of the Management Administration Department is to prevent the risk and protect the employees,” Egashira said.

“Also, Linkers is currently in the second development stage and working hard to transform itself from a startup into a public organ. To advance as an business organization, the company needs a certain set of rules, and it is my challenging mission to establish them as a corporate culture.”

His favorite pastimes are traveling and watching movies but these days he can hardly find time for anything other than work. He is an omnivorous reader and reads repeatedly motivational books with universal themes such as Dale Carnegie’s books. He said, “I quite agree with a basic concept that building strong mind is much more important than using a superficial technique.”

Apr 1994 joined kokudo-kanri
Mar 2001 joined Netmarks
Jul 2007 joined Takashima
Feb 2008 joined FX Prime (currently FX Prime by GMO)
Apr 2011 became Manager of Financial Accounting Department of FX Prime
Dec 2012 became Manager of Management Administration of FX Prime
Jun 2013 became a Director of FX Prime
Jan 2017 became General Manager of Management Administration of Linkers (present post)
Oct 2017 became a Director of Linkers (present post)

Outside Director
Ken Takayama

Apr 1988 joined Industrial Bank of Japan (currently Mizuho)
Nov 1999 became Managing Director of Rakuten
Jun 2001 became an external Audit & Supervisory Board Member of TechMatrix
Apr 2006 became a Director, Managing Executive Officer of Rakuten
Feb 2010 became a Director, CFO of Rakuten
Mar 2013 became a Consultant of Rakuten
Jul 2014 became an external Director of Star Festival (present post)
Jun 2015 became an external Director, Audit Committee Member of TechMatrix (present post)
Nov 2016 became an external Director of Metaps (present post)
May 2017 became an external Audit & Supervisory Board Member of Media Do (present post)
May 2018 became an external Director of Linkers (present post)

Audit & Supervisory Board Members

Full-time Audit & Supervisory Board Member
Eikichi Umekawa

Apr 1977 joined Toshiba
Apr 2000 became a Deputy Plant Manager, Komukai Factory of Toshiba
Apr 2002 became a Chief engineer of Toshiba
Oct 2007 became a President of Toshiba Electronics Engineering Corporation
Jun 2011 became a full-time Audit & Supervisory Board Member of Toshiba Electro-wave Ploducts Corporation
Jul 2014 became a Advisor of Orient-microwave (present post)
Mar 2019 became an Audit & Supervisory Board Member of Linkers (present post)


Yasuji Enokido

1983 graduated from Faculty of Economics, Keio University
1983 joined Matsushita Electric Industrial (currently Panasonic)
2013 became President of Panasonic Avionics
2015 became President of Panasonic AVC Networks
2016 became Senior Managing Director of Panasonic
2017 found and served as Representative Director of Soen Corporation
2018 became a guest professor of Hitotsubashi University Business School
Masazumi Ishii

Apr 1972 graduated from Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo
May 1972 engaged in development of a mechanical Cad system funded by Marubeni Electronics
Nov 1973 joined IBM Japan and engaged in development of the second-stage online banking system
Jun 1978 graduated from Stanford Graduate School of Business (master’s degree in computer science)
Feb 1981 joined McKinsey & Company and engaged in overseas strategies of major companies in Japan and the Western Countries
Feb 1985 established AZCA, Inc. in Silicon Valley. Since the company’s establishment, he has taken a hands-on approach to formulating growth strategies for domestic and U.S. companies and developing new ventures
Apr 1987 became an officer of PTV, a venture capital firm
Apr 2004 became Managing Director of Noventi, a venture capital firm
Apr 2005 became a visiting professor of Graduate School of Engineering, Shizuoka University
Dec 2011 to Dec 2013 served as a member of the U.S.-Japan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council, an organization created by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the U.S. Department of State under the umbrella of the U.S.-Japan Dialogue on innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation, and engaged in policy making and developing recommendations concerning innovation and entrepreneurial activities, including those involved in U.S.-Japan cooperation
Apr 2012 became a visiting professor of Waseda Business School
Apr 2014 found and served as Managing Director of AZCA Venture Partners, a venture capital firm in the medical device/healthcare industry
Feb 2014 to Jul 2015 called three times by the U.S. White House to appear on expert committees and actively provided insights and recommendations from the private sector to help the U.S. government to make policies on various topics such as trade agreement/advancement and climate change.
Technology Supervisor
Yukihiro Matsumoto

1990 graduated from College of Information Science, Third Cluster of College, University of Tsukuba.
Creator of Ruby programming language, Fellow of Network Applied Communication Laboratory,
Fellow of Rakuten Institute of Technology, Heroku Chief Architect, Chairman of Ruby Association,
Honorary Citizen of Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture
Hidetoshi Takano

Mar 1999 graduated from Faculty of Economics, Tohoku University
Apr 1999 joined Intelligence (currently PERSOL CAREER) and engaged in the launch of a staffing business and the outplacement service as well as personnel management.
Jan 2005 found KeyPlayers and became independent as a career consultant
2009 became a Director of Medley
2011 became a Director of CrowdWorks (resigned in 2015)
2012 found keyplayers Bangladesh
2014 became an external Director of standing ovation
2016 became an external Director of Bespoke
Working actively as an angel investor and a consultant. Companies he has invested in or served as a consultant are: Cluster, SORABITO, PLAY LIFE, SHE, Wondernuts, MUGENUP, ever sense, Tabinaka, Slogan, Hupro, trass, and more.
Kumi Fujisawa

1996 established IFIS ltd., Japan’s first mutual-fund assessment organization
1999 sold IFIS to one of the world’s top rating companies and became a Director of IFIS
2000 co-found Thinktank SophiaBank; became President from 2013
2003 anchored “21st Century Business Class,” an NHK TV program and visited and interviewed various small- and medium-sized enterprises in Japan (the program ended in 2005)
2006 started “Kumi Fujisawa’s Shacho (Executive) Talk,” an Internet radio program to share interviews with presidents of business entities in Japan
2007 named one of the Young Global Leaders of 2007 at the World Economic Forum
2008 nominated to a member of the Global Agenda Council at the World Economic Forum
2014 became an external Director of Shizuoka Bank
2015 became an external Director of Toyota Tsusho
became an external Director of Money Design (resigned in 2017)
became an advisor to MEXT and Head of Office of the World Forum on Sport and Culture
(after the successful completion of the Forum in 2016, resigned in 2017)
2016 became an external Director of CREEK & RIVER
2018 became a Director of Japan Professional Football League
became an external Director of CAMPFIRE