Masaharu Matsushita

Masaharu Matsushita (松下 正治, Matsushita Masaharu, September 17, 1912 – July 16, 2012), was a Japanese businessman who served as the second President of Panasonic for sixteen years beginning in 1961.[1][2] He was the son-in-law of Panasonic's founder, Konosuke Matsushita.[1] Masaharu Matsushita has been credited with expanding Panasonic into a global brand during a time of high economic expansion in Japan.[2]

Masaharu Matsushita
BornSeptember 17, 1912
DiedJuly 16, 2012(2012-07-16) (aged 99)
Osaka, Japan
Alma materUniversity of Tokyo
Occupation(s)Businessman, business executive
Known for2nd President of Panasonic
SpouseSachiko Matsushita
RelativesKonosuke Matsushita(father-in-law)
Hirata Tosuke (grandfather)
Maeda Toshisada (uncle)
Mitsui Takakimi 11th head of the Mitsui family (uncle)
Yamagata Isaburō (great-uncle)
Yamagata Aritomo (great-great-uncle)
Japanese name
Kanji松下 正治


Matsushita was born Masaharu Hirata.[1] He was the second son of Count Eiji Hirata (1882–1971) who was a painter and a professor of Tokyo School of Fine Arts and Tatsu, the adopted daughter of Viscount Shinagawa Yajirō.[1][3] He originally studied law at the present-day University of Tokyo.[1] Matsushita worked for Mitsui Bank[4] before joining Panasonic.[1][5] In April 1940, he married Sachiko Matsushita, the daughter of Panasonic's founder, and was adopted into her family, taking their surname.[1][5][6] He began working for his father-in-law the following month.[5]

Masaharu Matsushita is credited with turning Panasonic into a global electronics brand.[1] He succeeded his father-in-law as President of Panasonic in 1961 as the company's second president.[1] Under him, Panasonic retained its management philosophy, which emphasized teamwork and promoted the idea that bosses were equal to their employees.[2] High ranking management performed more tasks with their employees, such as cleaning bathrooms.[1] Panasonic's company philosophy has been admired and copied within the Japanese business world.[1] Masaharu Matsushita held the presidency of Panasonic for sixteen years, during a period of worldwide growth for Japan.[1][2] Toshihiko Yamashita took over the presidency in 1977.[7] He was conferred the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1984, and was appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1997.

Masaharu Matsushita died at Matsushita Memorial Hospital in Osaka, a hospital founded by his father-in-law, on July 16, 2012, at the age of 99.[1] He was survived by his wife, Sachiko, and their sons, Panasonic vice-chairman Masayuki Matsushita, and Hiro Matsushita who is a former driver in the Champ Car series and owns Swift Engineering, an aerospace firm in California and in 2018 Swift Engineering formed its subsidiary called Swift Xi located in Kobe.

Panasonic chairman Fumio Otsubo said of Matsushita, "I honor from the bottom of my heart his achievements in steering our company toward momentous growth."[1]


Foreign honourEdit

Matsushita family treeEdit

Matsushita Uemon
Yasuda KoichiroTokue MatsushitaMasakusu MatsushitaHirata TosukeMaeda Toshiaki
Mitsui Takamine10th head of the Mitsui family
Tetsujiro NakaoYasueJun IueYurou IueToshio IueMumenoKonosuke MatsushitaHirata ShodoShizuko MaedaMaeda ToshisadaKeikoMitsui Takakimi11th head of the Mitsui family
Satoshi IueMatsushita SachikoMasaharu MatsushitaHirata KatsumiNobuko
Iue ToshimasaHiro MatsushitaMasayuki Matsushita
Atsuko Matsushita


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Kageyama, Yuri (July 17, 2012). "Former Panasonic president Matsushita dies at 99". Associated Press. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Westflake, Adam (July 17, 2012). "Panasonic's influential former president, chairman Matsushita dies at 99". Japan Daily Press. Archived from the original on May 27, 2016. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  3. ^ The Hiratas
  4. ^ The Matsushitas
  5. ^ a b c Kotter, John P. (1997). Matsushita Leadership: Lessons from the 20th Century's Most Remarkable Entrepreneur. Simon and Schuster. p. 1932. ISBN 9780684834603. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  6. ^ Hidemasa Morikawa, ed. (2001). A History of Top Management in Japan: Managerial Enterprises and Family Enterprises. Oxford University Press. pp. 147. ISBN 9780195131659. Retrieved July 22, 2012. Masaharu Hirata Sachiko.
  7. ^ Hidemasa Morikawa, ed. (2001). A History of Top Management in Japan: Managerial Enterprises and Family Enterprises. Oxford University Press. pp. 149. ISBN 9780195131659. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 1977 Masaharu Toshihiko Yamashita.
  8. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat".