Meet Atsushi Morisawa,
Former Managing Director
Atsushi Morisawa has always been a builder. After beginning his career as a trained architect who worked to create beautiful and functional buildings, Atsushi transitioned first into the consulting industry, and eventually into the corporate sector to help design businesses that would solve complex problems. Along the way, he learned that no matter the product that is being built, the two key factors for success are a strong team culture and a hyper-focus on the needs of the customer.
After graduating from Kyoto University, Atsushi spent five years as an architect/planner in Tokyo before being offered the opportunity to study abroad. He struggled to find a one-year graduate degree in architecture and decided to explore business options and went on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. “I discovered that business was actually more exciting and interesting to me than architecture,” Atsushi said.
Following business school, Atsushi returned to Japan where he began what would become a 17-year tenure as a consultant, first at the Boston Consulting Group and eventually at AlixPartners. “I was fascinated by the opportunity to help corporations change,” he said. “It was a very interesting opportunity to learn about the business and put strategy into practice, working with clients.”
Atsushi was attracted to AlixPartners because of the firm’s action-oriented culture. “As a consultant, I really wanted to make change happen and to drive my clients to results,” Atsushi said. “The discussions that I had with firm leaders made me realize that AlixPartners does a very different type of consulting. I love the tagline, when it really matters, because that is what I wanted to drive as a consultant. I wanted to make change happen and move towards results, working with the clients.”
Atsushi was eventually called on to join the leadership team at Mars, Inc. in Japan where he seized the opportunity to turnaround and strengthen an organization from the inside. His accomplishments in this role, including moving the pet food category that he oversaw to the top-selling brand in Japan, eventually lead him to Koki Holdings Co. Ltd., one of the leading global power tools companies formerly known as Hitachi Koki, where Atsushi joined as President, Representative Director, and CEO in April 2019.
As a relatively new leader in his current organization, creating a strong culture of open communication and teamwork are top priorities for Atsushi. “Most of my time in this new role is spent on communication with the team and customers,” he said. “My focus is to ensure that everyone shares the same perspective for the future, and a mindset of end-to-end collaboration.”
Throughout his career working with organizations around the world, Atsushi has found that having a customer focus is essential to navigating a career across cultures and continents. “Having a core focus on the basics of business is the key. I believe that if you are obsessed with your customer and have a flexible and open-minded approach to communication and professional relationships then your business will be successful. This is, in fact, easier said than done, and competitive differentiation often comes from who can do things with a better and stronger customer focus.”
“Looking back, I can clearly see that my experience at AlixPartners was really impactful for my career, with a strong focus on making change happen even in challenging situations.” Atsushi reflected. He is grateful to AlixPartners for helping him to stay connected to fellow alumni and makes it a priority to attend the annual AlixAlumni event in Japan every year. His AlixAlumni network has continued to serve him even outside of the consulting industry, with many fellow alumni acting as valuable partners for him.