News » 2003 » Kyocera Announces Management Changes at U.S. Wireless Phone Unit


Kyocera Announces Management Changes at U.S. Wireless Phone Unit

SAN DIEGO (August 4, 2003) – Kyocera International, Inc. (KII) today announced that it has accepted the resignations, effective immediately, of both the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer of Kyocera Wireless Corp. (KWC), a wholly-owned subsidiary that manufactures and markets CDMA wireless phones.



Former CEO and president Howard W. “Skip” Speaks was recruited in 2001 to lead KWC toward an eventual IPO, a direction that has since been assigned a different priority due to changes in the economic and market environment.


Former V.P. and CFO John Heffner helped lead a transition effort after Kyocera purchased the former wireless phone business of QUALCOMM Incorporated in February 2000.


Assuming Speaks’ executive responsibilities will be Tsuyoshi Mano, formerly KWC’s V.P. of business planning and development, who has been promoted to president of KWC. In his new role, Mano will focus on establishing a closer collaboration with Kyocera Corporation (KC) in Japan, the group’s global headquarters (NYSE: KYO). Mano, who joined Kyocera in 1978, will align KWC’s wireless operations with those of KC’s Mobile Communications Equipment Division in Japan, headed by Yasuyuki Yamamoto. Yamamoto, an executive officer at KC, currently serves on the board of directors for KWC.


Assuming Heffner’s responsibilities will be Richard Duckworth, formerly KWC’s controller, who has been promoted to V.P. of finance. Duckworth is a CPA who has worked at the local wireless phone manufacturing operation since 1995.


KII president Rodney N. Lanthorne stated that the separations with Speaks and Heffner were amicable.


“With Skip’s leadership and John’s support, KWC was able to maintain the top position in the U.S. CDMA segment,” Lanthorne stated. “However, with the industry entering into a new and more competitive phase, with greater emphasis on scale, it is necessary that Kyocera pursue greater integration. This transition resulted in philosophical differences with these two capable executives that led to their departure. Nonetheless, we have a great sense of gratitude for their respective contributions during a difficult period, and extend our best wishes for their future endeavors.”


“At the same time,” Lanthorne continued, “we expect Mano to lead the KWC organization and facilitate the successful alignment of Kyocera’s global communications equipment business with strong support from Mr. Duckworth and the KWC management team.”


Mano stated that the direction to align Kyocera’s global operations developing and manufacturing wireless phones would lead to stronger results at KWC. “Our immediate goals for KWC include enhancing the timeliness of our new product introductions, streamlining the operations and improving profitability,” Mano stated.


About Kyocera


Kyocera Wireless Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kyocera International, Inc., which acquired QUALCOMM Incorporated’s CDMA consumer wireless phone business in February 2000. Kyocera Wireless Corp. is a leading supplier of innovative, feature-rich CDMA handsets and accessories for customers worldwide. Based in San Diego, the company is ISO-14001 and ISO-9001 certified and has won city, state and federal awards for its environmentally friendly manufacturing and recycling practices. For more information, please visit


Kyocera International, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kyoto, Japan-based Kyocera Corporation, is Kyocera’s North American headquarters and holding company.


Kyocera Corporation, parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of advanced ceramics. By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of telecommunications equipment, semiconductor packages, electronic components, cameras, laser printers, copiers and solar energy systems. During the year ended March 31, 2003, the company’s net sales totaled 1.069 trillion yen ($9.06 billion) with net income of 41.1 billion yen ($348 million).


John Chier, Kyocera Wireless Corp.
phone: 1-(858) 882-3543


Jay Scovie, Kyocera International, Inc.
Phone: 1-(858) 576-2674