Aruze Gaming Chairman and CEO, Takahiro Usui, has announced he will step down from the board as of 30 June 2019 for personal reasons.
Usui’s departure after 14 years with the company saw Aruze Gaming credit him for playing an instrumental role in maintaining and advancing the company’s position as a leading innovator in the gaming industry.
“The Aruze Board of Directors collectively would like to thank Takahiro for his incredible efforts and accomplishments while at Aruze and we wish him well in all his future endeavors”, said Rich Pennington, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Each of us on the Board of Directors, as well as many within the company, look forward to a continued personal relationship with him as he is a great friend to all of us.”
Aruze also announced that current VP of Product Development, Masumi Fujisawa, would take on the role of Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, while Group CFO/CSO Yugo Kinoshita will become CEO.
Hiromi Okada, the daughter of company founder Kazuo Okada, has been named as a new Aruze board member.
Usui’s decision to step down comes amid ongoing legal concerns in the Philippines where he and his former boss, Kazuo Okada, recently had an arrest warrant against them issued by a Parañaque City court.
Okada is accused of misappropriating around US$3.2 million salaries and fees from Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) – the subsidiary of Universal Entertainment Corp that operates Okada Manila – during his time as Chairman and CEO. He has denied the charges.
Usui was also present late last year when Inside Asian Gaming conducted a lengthy face-to-face interview with Okada in which he defended himself against allegations of estafa by Universal Entertainment Corp and TRLEI.