Ray Hatoyama

Ray Hatoyama

Ray Hatoyama is a Venture Partner of Sozo Ventures. Mr. Hatoyama is highly experienced in IT and entertainment industry on corporate strategy for globalization, corporate governance and innovation.

Until recently, Mr. Hatoyama was the Managing Director of Sanrio Co., Ltd (owner of the wildly popular Hello Kitty brand), where he had executed Sanrio’s global expansion strategy. He not only made the Hello Kitty a global iconic brand, but also succeeded in the acquisition of the UK brand named Mr Men Little Miss and bringing the franchise to Hollywood. As a global strategist, he’s seen the market cap rise from $500 million to $3.5 billion in seven years after he joined the company in 2008.

Mr. Hatoyama serves as an independent director for various listed companies such as LINE Corp. (largest SNS in Japan), Pigeon Corp. (the leading childcare and nursing products company), and Transcosmos Inc. (the leading provider for Business Process Outsourcing). Previously, Mr. Hatoyama also served on the board of DeNA Co., Ltd (the leading mobile gaming company in Japan). Mr. Hatoyama is also the CEO of Hatoyama-Soken, his own research and consulting arm.

Before Sanrio, he was part of Mitsubishi Corporation’s content division. There, he also handled media contents business operations at the Avex Group, Lawson, Inc., and other companies.

Mr. Hatoyama graduated Aoyama Gakuin University’s School of International Politics, Economics, and Communication in 1997. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2008. Mr. Hatoyama earned IDP-C, a Certificate in Corporate Governance from INSEAD in 2016. He is currently a Visiting Scholar of Stanford University. He has publication including the article in Diamond Harvard Business Review, “How Sanrio Turned Hello Kitty into a Global Brand” (ASIN: B010LBF840). He has been chosen as the 31 most successful Harvard Business Graduate of all time in Business Insider (October 2015).


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