Kanebo executives cut salaries over skin-whitening disaster


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Kanebo executives cut salaries over skin-whitening disaster
The president of Kanebo Cosmetics has announced that he will reduce his salary in the wake of his company’s skin-whitening product debacle.

At a press conference, President Matsumi Natsusaka gave a “whole-hearted apology” ​for the disaster and announced that he and the company chairman would take a 50 percent pay cut over the next six months.

Eight other executives pledged to give up ten to 40 percent of their monthly salary for the same period.

The company CEO also pledged to dramatically improve safety in the company’s future products.

Narsusaka stated: “We will carry out drastic reforms to our safety controls, making it the first step towards Kanebo becoming trusted again by our customers.”

Brands suffer from reputation damage

Since the scandal began Kanebo has seen retail sales go down by “20 percent”​, according to an article by AFP.

At a press conference, Narsusaka said that Kanebo needed to “reinvent” ​their brands in the wake of the incident in order to be trusted by customers again.

Kanebo has announced its intention to share information with experts from the Japanese Dermatological Association in the future.

The company also plans to merge its quality control departments with the product quality management division of the Kao Corporation, allowing their parent company to have stronger control over development.

Legal criticism

An investigative team from the Fuji Partnership Law Office issued a report on September 11 2013 criticizing Kanebo for carrying out its recall too slowly.

According to Japanese media the group, led by Mr Hideki Nakagome and Mr Shota Matgunaga, came to the conclusion that the company should have pulled the ingredient by no later than September 2012, when a doctor informed them that the products could be causing white blotches on the skin.   

The lawyers further discovered that the company had heard reports of consumers being affected as early as 2011, but had not taken action because the cause and effect relationship was not clear.

Mr Nakagome said at a press conference: “The company was, above all, concerned about its products, and consumers were only an afterthought.”

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