Studio Ghibli Appoints New CEO as it Gears up for Final Hayao Miyazaki Film

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Hayao Miyazaki

Kiyofumi Nakajima, a former banker with a long association with the anime studio, is its new head.

Anime hit factory Studio Ghibli has shaken up its senior management for the first time in nine years, as it gears up to produce another feature from the unretired Hayao Miyazaki.

Kiyofumi Nakajima was appointed as the new CEO on Tuesday, replacing Koji Hoshino, who himself took over from co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki in February 2008. Hoshino, a former head of Walt Disney Japan, will become chairperson, with a mandate to expand overseas expansion, merchandising, licensing and developing new business.

Nakajima is a former banker who was appointed to run Ghibli when it was a subsidiary of the bank he joined from college. In 2005, he was appointed director of the Ghibli Museum in the western suburbs of Tokyo, near the animation studio.

Hoshino, Nakajima and Suzuki will all be directors on the Ghibli board.

The studio officially went back into feature film production in October to work on Miyazaki's Kimitachi wa Do Ikiru ka (How Do You Guys Live?), which is expected to take three to four years to complete.

The management shake-up is to prepare it to produce and release what is expected to be the last film from Miyazaki, according to a statement from the studio.