New Ricoh Americas President and CEO Joji Tokunaga Shares Digital Printing Insights
Joji Tokunaga was appointed president and CEO of Ricoh Americas on April 1. In my role as editor-in-chief of Printing Impressions, I had the chance to ask him some questions about his career accomplishments, including overseeing the integration of IKON Office Solutions into Ricoh in 2008, and his views on Ricoh's position in the production and industrial digital printing spaces. Click here for the full press release issued by Ricoh USA.
While the title may be new, Tokunaga brings more than 33 years of sales, marketing and general management experience to the role, including many leadership positions with Ricoh where he has helped direct several business acquisitions.
Most recently, Tokunaga served as executive VP and GM of Shared Services, where he oversaw the organization’s human resources, finance, legal, supply chain, customer administration, IT, process improvement, marketing and strategic planning functions that provide support to Ricoh’s main business units in the Americas.
Tokunaga has also served as corporate associate VP and GM, Business Solutions Group for Ricoh Co., Ltd. in Japan after a previous assignment in the U.S., where he held the position of senior VP, Ricoh Americas Chairman’s Office from 2012-2015. Prior to this, he was VP, Strategic Management Office, for Ricoh in the Americas after Ricoh acquired IKON Office Solutions in October 2008, and was responsible for the direction and oversight of IKON and Ricoh business integration initiatives, including sales and financial processes.
A 1984 University of Delaware graduate, Tokunaga also spent several years throughout his career at Ricoh Co., Ltd., with responsibilities for Ricoh’s acquisition of Lanier World Wide, IBM Printing Systems and Danka Europe.
PI: You have had a long career within Ricoh. What career accomplishments thus far are you most proud of?
Tokunaga: I’ve been with Ricoh for 33 years. Of that, 21 years have been in the U.S. That’s nearly two to one in this region. Throughout this time I’ve had a key role in the various acquisitions - both here and around the world - that have helped us grow from a $10 billion to a nearly $20 billion company globally.
This includes Lanier, IKON, Danka (Europe) and InfoPrint. Each has brought a strong customer base and exceptional talent. I have significant pride in Ricoh, particularly this region and to be leading it. Our employees are our greatest strength and, because of them, I’m incredibly optimistic about our future.
PI: You were heavily involved with the integration of IKON into the Ricoh organization in the U.S. What advice would you give to companies that are going through an integration process?
Tokunaga: First and foremost, focus on culture. Each organization has its own culture and acquisitions bring new cultures together. It’s important to quickly introduce and reinforce one team, one culture. At Ricoh, this is key to who we are, it’s what makes us strong and is a major differentiator.
We may come from different perspectives, but one thing unifies us, and that’s a steadfast focus on the customer. In fact, we just recently celebrated Founders Day and our ongoing commitment to putting customers first. This is core to everything we do today, have done for the past 80 years, and will do in the future. At Ricoh, we are surrounded by talented people who are truly dedicated to their customers and, as a result, our delivery capabilities are better than the competition.
PI: What are your views on the opportunity that exists for Ricoh in the digital production printing space?
Tokunaga: We recently celebrated 10 years in digital production and we see a great deal of opportunity for the future. In 2017, we formed the Commercial & Industrial Printing Business Group with investments in people, processes and technologies to help customers grow their businesses.
PI: How do you think high-speed inkjet printing technology will impact the printing industry in the future?
Tokunaga: The opportunities are significant. Ricoh is proud to be a pioneer in inkjet innovations and to continually offer award-winning products. We are committed to continuously delivering capabilities, performance and operational enhancements that help customers maintain competitiveness and relevance in the market.
PI: Do you have any initial plans to make any organizational changes in your new position?
Tokunaga: As previously mentioned, we see great opportunity in commercial and industrial printing, while remaining committed to our office print and related services, as well as our visual communications and collaborative technologies and services businesses. Our vision is to create the strongest organization in the industry with a competitive cost structure, and to expand our resources and invest in our growth.
As part of our Ricoh Ignite global growth strategy, we are investing in R&D - Ricoh was recently recognized as the 30th most innovative company in the world and we plan to build on our strong legacy of innovation. We are also focused on providing an exceptional experience for our customers. We will continue to review our operations and look for ways to enhance the customer experience, simplify our processes and maintain competitiveness.