Eneos Holdings Dismisses President over Hugging Woman

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
President Takeshi Saito being interviewed in May 2022 in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Major Japanese oil refiner Eneos Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it dismissed President Takeshi Saito the same day over his inappropriate behavior toward a woman.

The company cited a whistleblower report filed in late November that claimed Saito hugged a woman while he was drunk at a social gathering. An investigation has found the report to be true, the company said.

Until a new management team is launched, Executive Vice President Tomohide Miyata will serve as acting president.

The latest scandal comes after the company’s then chairman, Tsutomu Sugimori, resigned in August last year over a sexual harassment scandal.

According to Eneos Holdings, Saito has admitted that he misbehaved because he had drunk too much, and that he feels ashamed of himself and regrets not having been able to control himself.

Another executive vice president, Yasushi Yatabe, who also attended the gathering, resigned on Tuesday. Senior Vice President Kotaro Sunaga will receive a 30 pct cut in monthly remuneration for three months for making an inappropriate remark toward the same woman.

Over the matter, Chairman Katsuyuki Ota will voluntarily take a 30 pct cut in monthly remuneration for six months.

“We deeply regret (the scandal) and apologize to all those involved,” Seiichiro Nishioka, an outside director of the company, told a news conference Tuesday.

Asked whether the company’s organizational culture was behind the latest scandal, Nishioka said that reforming the mindset of company executives, not all employees, had been insufficient.

The company plans to decide on a new management team by the end of February and discuss measures to prevent similar misconduct.

Saito, who joined the predecessor of Eneos Holdings in 1986, became its president in April 2022. He was responsible for leading efforts to strengthen compliance after the scandal involving the former chairman.