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Seven & i shareholders approve Isaka as chief to lead expansion

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Shareholders of Seven & i Holdings Co, the world's largest convenience store operator, approved Ryuichi Isaka as its president, with the retailer looking to turn around weak units and expanding operations in the US to counter slowing demand in Japan.

[TOKYO] Shareholders of Seven & i Holdings Co, the world's largest convenience store operator, approved Ryuichi Isaka as its president, with the retailer looking to turn around weak units and expanding operations in the US to counter slowing demand in Japan.

Shareholders appointed Mr Isaka at the company's annual meeting in Tokyo Wednesday. Thirteen other executives' appointments were also approved by shareholders.

Mr Isaka's appointment comes after a rare, public boardroom spat in which the board didn't go along with chairman and chief executive officer Toshifumi Suzuki's plan to replace Mr Isaka, who had the support of billionaire activist investor Dan Loeb.

Mr Isaka's biggest tasks ahead include restructuring a money-losing supermarket unit and contending with intensified competition from rivals FamilyMart Co and Lawson Inc.

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Mr Isaka plans to increase the number of 7-Eleven Inc outlets in the US to boost its market share that stands at about 6 per cent, he said in an interview last week.

Seven & i gained as much as 1.7 per cent to 4,728 yen in Tokyo trading Thursday. The company's shares have tumbled about 15 per cent this year.

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