Hirota will assume the role of CEO at ASICS from 25 March, according to a disclosure from the company.

Hirota succeeds Motoi Oyama as CEO with Asics saying in a brief statement the appointment has been made: “to move ahead with mid-term plan 2023 and increase corporate value under the new management setup.”

Specifically, Asics is focusing on its transformation to become more profitable and more environmentally and socially sustainable.

As part of this plan, it is looking at supply chain reformation as it targets a reduction in product cost, an optimised inventory turnover, and lower logistics costs.

It is engaging and utilising more digital technologies to shorten the lead time of development and production so it reduces time-to-market and the same will help it optimise inventory and reduce clearance by improving the accuracy of demand forecast.

Oyama will retain the position of chairman and director at Asics, while Hirota assumes the role of CEO in addition to serving as COO, and president of the company.

In recent years Asics has been driving forward plans to become more sustainable and more digitally aware.

Last March, it developed a limited edition line of shoes made from recycled clothing collected in Japan, while in August, it took a stake in Japan Healthcare Co, a healthcare startup that makes insoles based on digital photos taken by a smartphone.

“One of the strategic objectives in Asics’ Mid-Term Plan 2023 is the realisation of a sustainable society integrating business activities,” Asics said in a statement at the time. “Asics aims to enable a healthy and fulfilled mind and body for people all over the world and provide them with a sustainable environment where they can play sports.”