iRobot begins Japan Operation

Former Bose executive Hajime Hikino named President and Representative Executive Officer

iRobot Corp., a leader in consumer robots has closed the acquisition of the iRobot-related distribution business of privately held Sales On Demand Corporation (SODC) based in Tokyo, Japan. The company also confirmed Hajime Hikino as President and Representative Executive Officer of iRobot Japan. Hajime Hikino will assume operational responsibility for all market activities in Japan. Japan is a key strategic country for iRobot, given its status as the largest consumer robotics market outside of North America.

The acquisition will better enable iRobot to maintain its leadership position and accelerate the growth of its business in Japan through direct control of pre and post sales market activities including sales, marketing, branding, channel relationships and customer service. It also provides iRobot with a talented team in Japan that already understands iRobot and the Japanese market, and a team that has the relationships and proven capabilities required to succeed.

Hajime Hikino comes to iRobot with a successful global track record of establishing and growing profitable consumer businesses in Japan. He has a wealth of experience developing premium consumer technology brands while both managing and growing relationships with strategic partners to drive growth. Most recently, Hajime Hikino served as Representative Director at Bose K.K. where he oversaw Asia sales and channel development, covering a wide range of regions such as Japan, China, India, Korea, ASEAN and the Middle East. Prior to Bose, Hajime Hikino spent 20 years in various Japan, Asia-Pacific and global roles with Hewlett-Packard.

“iRobot is excited to begin a new chapter in Japan, a market that has proven very successful in the past and holds even more promise for the future,” said Colin Angle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iRobot. “We welcome Hajime and the entire team in Japan, to iRobot as we continue to drive increased adoption of robots for the home and solidify our leadership position in the market.”

“I am excited to join iRobot, a company that has a long history of providing innovative consumer technologies to the Japanese market,” said Hajime Hikino, President and Representative Executive Officer of iRobot Japan. “In Japan, iRobot experienced revenue growth and increased momentum in 2016 and revenue growth is expected to accelerate in 2017. I am confident that our dedicated organisation will capitalise on the many opportunities in front of us.”