INTERVIEW

YANAGISAWA Koji

Director, Executive Vice President & CFO

When I was a rookie by YANAGISAWA Koji - “Fascinated by the world of Wall Street.”

- Tell us your early career and your rookie moments.

I believe I was a decent person at some level but still some others would have thought of me as a person who doesn't behave as a new employee is supposed to. I was the kind of person who thinks it is okay to behave as he likes, as long as he completes his assignments. I have always put effort into my work, but never stepped back because of that I am a new employee.

My career started from a bank. Most bankers usually wear a navy suit and white shirt, which is a basic and classic style of the bankers but I remember I dressed in a gray suit and blue shirt on the first day at work. Because I always admired the world of Wall Street that I watched in movies.

Afterward, I moved to the dealing room however the reality was a little different from how I used to expect. Although I enjoyed my job, I actually missed my job at a branch, where I was in charge of business transactions with foreign companies. I had a will to contribute more directly to the company’s growth, and it turned out to make me move to a consulting firm.

Even now, I think I made the right decision, to choose a consulting firm for my next job.

I spent every day learning about the industry from zero knowledge, receiving harsh feedback from my boss, and learning what management strategy is. I struggled a lot but because of those experiences, I came to understand what management is.

- Tell us your motto in work gained through your career.

My motto is “not to be picky about work,” so I have believed everything I try would mean something to me someday.

When I was in a consulting firm, I was in charge of multiple projects throughout multiple industries unlike being in charge of a specific field. There were some very simple projects, which most consultants would not undertake.

But all of those experiences connect dots to who I am today. For instance, my past experience when I helped reform a general affairs department of another company, also helped when we prepared the company for listing.

Furthermore, you can be responsible for all tasks your team deals with if you are experienced in a broad range of fields. And you will somehow make it even in case any tasks you assign someone else were running late for its deadline.

Not only when I was young, but I still keep in mind not to be picky.

Never forgetting December 11th, 2007.

- Tell us your unforgettable day at ZOZO

I will never forget the day ZOZO was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers.

I had wanted to see the moment someday when a company gets listed, as myself being a core member of a venture company before joining ZOZO. After learning skills in finance as a banker, I learned management as a consultant and gained knowledge of the market at a securities company. Those experiences and hard work paid off when ZOZO was listed, and that was December 11th, 2007.

When I joined ZOZO, it was literally a “chaotic” venture company with no administrative department and no approval system in place. However, the staff worked hard from there to build a company structure, and we finally reached one milestone.

It brought me to tears when I saw the founding members of ZOZO ringing the bell at the stock exchange to celebrate the listing.

Enriching ZOZO’s identity

- How would you envision ZOZO in 10 years?

First and foremost, the company must remain viable. Besides, it will be important to enrich ZOZO’s culture such as our mindset “Imagine the unexpected. Chart the unexplored” even more.

ZOZO has continued to run its business in such a way that makes not only the company itself but also all of its stakeholders happy, while remaining being located in the local community. This is one of the reasons we are strengthening our sustainability initiatives.

In order not to stop such initiatives, but rather to reinforce it stronger, we will have to launch new businesses, train the next generation and take on new initiatives.

There will come a time when the baton will be passed on to the next generation, and I think that my role is to build up each day to the fullest so that I will be able to pass on the 'good baton' when the time comes.

- In 2022, ZOZO added the statement “Explore your style. Make you delighted.” to its strategy. How do you describe “style” in your words?

It is still an unexplored area, and I am expecting unlimited potential in this.

You may find your style by, for instance, trying out new items, styling them with your favorite clothes, and exploring it. Through this process, you might also find a way to express yourself.

I usually dress in a fashion that I think is appropriate for each occasion. Actually, I would not choose on my own to wear what I am wearing today, which was picked by the staff. But I happened to feel pretty good about this.

One and only passport case knows the history of ZOZO

- Tell us your essential piece for work.

A passport case from Gucci and Fiat collaboration I purchased in 2011.

Every year since I assumed the CFO position, I have traveled overseas on business trips for IR meetings with investors so this passport case has traveled with me as well throughout those journeys.

Meetings with investors used to make me extremely nervous. However, year by year as we meet up and talk, our relationship becomes friendlier.

This passport case is the only thing that knows all of those paths I walked through. I wish this will keep watching over ZOZO’s growth and stay by my side.

Director, Executive Vice President & CFO
Executive Officer of : Business Administration Division/ Measurement Platform Division/ Measurement Products Division
YANAGISAWA Koji

Feb 2006 Full-time Audit and Supervisory Board Member of the Company
Jun 2008 Director of the Company & General Manager of Business Administration Division
Apr 2009 Director & CFO of the Company
Apr 2017 Director, Executive Vice President & CFO of the Company (present,) Outside Director of COLOPL, Inc. & DIGITAL HOLDINGS, INC.
Oct 2021 Contracted Director of ZOZO NEXT, Inc.