Denso Europe's new President Nobuaki Katoh is credited with developing the business strategy that made Denso the world's No. 1 supplier of air conditioners - a position the Japanese supplier has held for more than 10 years. From 1999 to June of this year, Katoh worked in the company's planning department in Japan where his main task was to further globalize the company. Now he is a living example of the globalization push. His June posting to Denso's European headquarters in the Netherlands marks the first time he has worked outside Japan since he joined the company after college in 1971. While Katoh and his wife, Kazuko, enjoy the adventure of living in a new place, they still like to enjoy the tastes of home and are grateful that there are some good sushi bars in their area. The highlight of the year for Katoh, an avid golfer, was finishing his first sub-80 round.
Name: Nobuaki Katoh.
Title: Denso Europe President.
Languages: Japanese, English.
Family: Wife, Kazuko, two daughters, Ayako, 29, Takako, 27 and one son, Hiroyuki, 26.
Countries lived in: Japan, the Netherlands.
Education: Degree in business and commerce from Keio University, Tokyo.
What is in your garage? A Lexus LS430.
If you could work in another industry what would it be? I would be a chef.
What is your greatest personal achievement? Building my new house in Japan.
What do you do to relax? Play golf.
What kinds of books do you read? I like reading historical books and mystery novels.
What book are you reading now? "Deception Point" by Dan Brown.
What is the first thing you do when arriving home from work? Enjoy a beer.
How would you describe your character? A quick thinker.
If you could meet any figure from history, who would it be? The 25 brave Dutch people who reached Japan following a two-year sea journey in 1600.
If you could change anything in your life, what would it be? I would spend more time practicing golf.
What CDs are in your car right now? Classical music.
What are your strongest attributes as a team leader? The continuous drive for improvement.
When are you not at your best? When I can scarcely get free time.
What are your most treasured possessions? My family.
Where would you really like to live? In Japan.
What is your current state of mind? This is my first overseas posting, so I am making an effort to get to know Dutch life.
What is the most fun you had in the last year that had nothing to do with cars, or the car business? I played a round of golf and scored 78. It was the first time I scored below 80.
What is your greatest regret? I don't dwell on the past.
Which words or phrases do you overuse? Anyone who is motivated can do anything.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Not being good at foreign languages.
What is the trait you most dislike in others? Restlessness.
What is your greatest extravagance? Buying impulsively.
Which talent would you most like to have? I would like to be a good golfer.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would be more patient.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I developed the business strategies that increased Denso's share of the air conditioning market, so Denso has maintained the global No. 1 market share for air conditioners for more than 10 years.