21st Century Council
Tadashi Yanai, is the Chairman, President, and CEO of FAST RETAILING CO., LTD., of which UNIQLO is a subsidiary. Since opening the first UNIQLO store in Hiroshima, Japan in 1984, the brand has become a global retailer with flagship stores from New York to Hong Kong. As the leader of UNIQLO Yanai‐san, oversees the business operations from designs, production to sales of his products. Tadashi Yanai’s philosophy of “changing conventional wisdom to change the world” and Japanese traditions has become UNIQLO’s central image.
Tadashi Yanai received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Politics from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. In 1984, he had taken over his father’s suite shop and transformed it into UNIQLO. Yanai‐san has since turned UNIQLO into a household name throughout Japan and Asia. Currently UNIQLO operates 1,020 retail outlets all over Asia, Europe, and North America. At 62 years old, Yanai‐san is ranked one of the wealthiest men in Japan and manages to maintain an altruistic side. He donated $12.2 million out of his personal fortune towards relief efforts for Japan after the 2011 tsunami. Yanai‐san also established a strong sense of corporate responsibility within his company; creating programs such has the Grameen Project, and All‐Product Recycling.
Over the years with him as president of Fast Retailing, the company has successfully acquired smaller foreign brands including France’s Comptoir des Cotonniers for women’s wear and Princesse Tam‐Tam lingerie, as well as America’s Theory. Yanai‐san’s has strong control over UNIQLO, with power to finalize all decisions, down to approving samples and colors, while keeping the consumers’ needs in mind.