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Topcon Positioning Systems Announces New Organizational Structure to Drive "˜Continued Growth'

September 11, 2008
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Ray O’Connor

Livermore, Calif. –Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc., (TPS) has announced a change in its management operation that will provide a basis for strengthening current operations and allowing expansion opportunities. A business unit structure set to provide greater market focus, market-responsive product management, expansion capability, and added opportunities for its customers, distributors and employees went into effect September 2.

  Ray O’Connor, president and CEO of TPS said, “I am proud of our ability to grow the business while still remaining agile and quick in making necessary business decisions.  With this growth has come the need for basic organizational changes that will allow us to continue to properly manage our business and meet the needs of our rapidly expanding customer base.”

The new structure’s four market-focused business units and leaders reporting to O’Connor are: 

  • Survey and Construction: Jamie Williamson, senior vice president and general manager;
  • Emerging Business (GIS, network, mobile): Eduardo Falcon, senior vice president and general manager;
  • Precision Agriculture: David Vaughn, senior vice president and general manager; and
  • Telematics: Mark Bittner, senior vice president and general manager.

Mick Yamazaki

“Each business unit will be dedicated to providing exemplary service in the areas of sales, marketing, product management and training,” O’Connor said. “The unit leaders are also responsible for recruiting dealers and equipping them with the right products, promotional information and other sales tools, training and support to maintain TPS’ leadership role in each market segment.”

The new organization, O’Connor said, “puts emphasis on maintaining and re-enforcing direct, immediate contact with dealers and customers. It puts decision-making directly in the field to spotlight Topcon’s primary goals of providing exemplary dealer support and customer satisfaction.

“Today is the perfect time to not only make necessary organizational decisions to continue to be a world-leader in our global target business markets, but to also put TPS on a structural path to take full advantage of our strengths to enter new markets as opportunities arise.”

O’Connor said in the new structure “Mick Yamazaki has been promoted to the new position of chief operating officer (COO). He will also retain his executive vice president’s title and will continue to head up the manufacturing operations of TPS.”

As COO, Yamazaki will report directly to O’Connor and have the added responsibility of overseeing sales support, marketing services, human resources, information technology and legal services, as these are now part of operations and will serve all business units.

“There is no better person to move into this key executive position than Mick,” said O’Connor. “He has been my right hand at TPS for the last five years, and now in this expanded role he will continue to provide me with critical support so I can focus my energy on business growth for TPS, in addition to my duties as an executive officer of Topcon Corporation,” O’Connor said.

In June of this year, O’Connor was appointed as an executive officer of Topcon Corporation by its board of directors.  He is the first person of non-Japanese descent and the youngest person ever to be named as a Topcon Corporation executive officer.  O’Connor will also have expanded international responsibilities as chairman of Topcon Europe Positioning (TEP) and Sokkia Europe BV.

About his new role, Yamazaki said, “It is an honor to be put in this critical position at TPS. The restructuring will allow us to focus our efforts on enhancing production and productivity in these key areas of operation. This realignment will also open up additional opportunities for growth within the company for employees.”

TPS has grown exponentially over the last 15 years as the division of Topcon that is now TPS grew from 30 employees to more than 700 employees.  

TPS’ focus on the agriculture market was solidified in 2006 when it purchased the leading precision agriculture company, KEE Technologies Pty Ltd., an Australian-based company with more than 25 years experience in agricultural electronics and applications, focusing on the precision agriculture market.

In 2007, Topcon began a new Mobile Control Division to meet the needs of a broader market that is in need of precise positioning solutions for a myriad of applications, including: precise measurement, navigation, pinpoint tracking, mobile mapping and asset management.

In February of 2008, Topcon announced the combination with Sokkia Co., Ltd., a Japanese company founded more than 85 years ago; Sokkia also offers precision measuring systems for surveying, GIS, and construction applications. The joining of the two companies will create the leading survey instruments supplier in the world.

Most recently, Topcon formed the Telematics Business Unit and a joint venture company, Tierra, with Divitech S.p.A. in Turin, Italy to offer web-based telematics for global job site management. 

In August, Topcon announced the acquisition of Voxis, Inc., a U.S.-based company that is a leader in laser scanner technology and high-resolution motion systems.

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