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Border restrictions block Konica Minolta Australia managing director replacement

Konica Minolta Australia chairman and managing director Dr. David Cooke has announced his resignation, however will stay with the company as it navigates border restrictions due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Yohei Konaka, from Japan, will step in to replace him. Konaka was set commence his role as managing director on April 1, 2020. However due to borders being closed to Australia due to COVID-19, Cooke will stay in the role until it’s possible for Konaka to travel to Australia.

Cooke was to remain with the company until mid-July to see out the Japanese financial year and facilitate a smooth transition.

"I have no doubt that this will be a significant time of change and it will involve many personal and professional challenges. And we will most likely have to rethink many things now and in the future," says Cooke.

"It’s a time of uncertainty for many, and our aim is to make sure we can look after our employees, our partners, our customers and the community through these times, as we have at all times.

"Ensuring people’s safety is our priority and I’m proud of all those who have made the transition to working remotely, and of our dedicated technicians, consultants and trainers who continue to support our customers with new safety and health protocols in place," he says.

Under Cooke’s leadership, Konica Minolta has developed a reputation as a company that cares about its employees, customers and the community, and one that’s deeply committed to ethical leadership and creating societal value. In 2018 Konica Minolta was awarded the Human Rights Award for Business by the Australian Human Rights Commission for the work the company has done to promote and support human rights within its business and supply chain.

"Cooke has been instrumental in leading the company’s transformation and expanding on its core strengths of office and production printing to become an IT and technology business partner, providing innovative products such as 3D printing and robotics, as well as software and services solutions to a growing number of customers," Konica Minolta Australia says.

Cooke says he has very mixed feelings about leaving.

"he greatest challenge being leaving behind the friends I have made during my nearly fifteen years at Konica Minolta," he says.

"The choice of replacement however, gives me considerable confidence with regards to the future success of the company.”

Konaka is currently in the office business planning division of Konica Minolta headquarters. He has extensive experience in the business holding roles in both the US and Canada in his 19 year career with the company.

“I’m confident that Yohei will continue to build on the reputation Konica Minolta Australia has as a leader in areas such as human rights and ethical sourcing in line with the company strategy aimed at creating value for business, customers and society and meeting our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and delivering that into the future," says Cooke.