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Former Japanese Government Official Pressured HMC Head In Vote On Toshiba Chief Executive’s Reappointment, per Report

Harvard Management Company abstained from a critical vote to reappoint the executive for the company Toshiba.
Harvard Management Company abstained from a critical vote to reappoint the executive for the company Toshiba. By Amy Y. Li
By Ellen M. Burstein, Crimson Staff Writer

The former investment chief of Japan’s state pension fund pressured Harvard Management Company Chief Executive N.P. “Narv” Narvekar in a vote over the reappointment of an embattled electronics conglomerate chief executive, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

In the lead-up to the company’s annual general meeting, Nobuaki Kurumatani, the chief executive of Toshiba, faced a contentious vote on his reappointment and pressure from activist shareholders unhappy with his leadership. Hiro Mizuno, former chief investment officer of the Government Pension Investment Fund and a Tesla board member, met with Narvekar in a virtual meeting in an attempt to sway his vote, according to the Financial Times.

Harvard — one of Toshiba’s largest investors — held a stake of approximately 4.5 percent in the technology company prior to the general meeting.

In the meeting, Mizuno referenced Toshiba’s connections to the Japanese government and the possibility that a vote against Kurumatani could impact HMC’s reputation, the Financial Times reported. Narvekar ultimately elected to abstain from the vote, and Kurumatani was reinstated with 58 percent support.

Singapore-based activist fund Effissimo, which holds a 10 percent stake in Toshiba, sent a survey to several other investors asking whether they had “voted in a manner inconsistent with intentions,” per the report.

HMC spokesperson Patrick S. McKiernan declined to comment on the Financial Times’s report.

—Staff writer Ellen M. Burstein can be reached at ellen.burstein@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @ellenburstein.

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