Yoshizo is credited with leading the global expansion of Shimano as a company as he first set up its US sales division in 1965 followed by its European sales department in 1972 while an employee of the company. He further globalised the brand in 1998 when he made English its official language and provided classes to employees. By positioning the brand as a global force he was able to capitalise on the mountain bike boom in the United States and position Shimano as one of the major drivetrain players. Overseas sales now account for 90% of Shimano’s revenue.
He remained part of the company’s leadership as chairman emeritus since 2011. The company is now headed by Yoshizo’s nephew, Yozo Shimano, who is the company’s fifth president after its founder, Yoshizo and his two brothers.
Our condolences and thoughts are with Yoshizo Shimano’s friends and family at this difficult time.