Mickey’s Voice

Insights from our CEO

  • Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani reflects on the tremendous progress achieved in 2021 and shares his vision for 2022, Rakuten's 25th anniversary.

    Celebrating a quarter century of optimism: Thoughts on the new year

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group, Inc. First and foremost, I’d like to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year. This year marks Rakuten’s 25th anniversary — 25 years of tremendous growth across e-commerce, sports, fintech, mobile and many other industries. Let’s take a brief look back at 2021 and the great progress achieved thanks to the commitment and hard work of all our emplo…

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  • Success in business requires an understanding of three very different, essential forms of speed, as well as the human context required to achieve them.

    Building your organization’s capacity for speed: The human context

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group If there’s one constant in business today, it’s the pressure to move faster. Can we speed a product to market? Can we rush delivery? Can we get the app to load faster? At Rakuten, operating effectively at speed has always been fundamental to our growth. In fact, one of our founding principles for success is simply: Speed!! Speed!! Speed!! The realit…

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  • Mickey Mikitani onstage at Rakuten Expo 2021

    Rakuten Expo: Mickey Mikitani on the Rakuten Mobile Triangle Strategy

    Excerpted from an address by Rakuten Group Chairman and CEO, Mickey Mikitani, to Rakuten Ichiba merchants at Rakuten Expo 2021. “Last summer we experienced a tremendous surge in customer demand, spurred by COVID-19. Now, even in the wake of that remarkable growth, we’re seeing a sustained 17% increase year-over-year. Our two-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is growing steadily at 23.6…

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  • Everyday, we take risks, big and small: When we try something new, follow an “outrageous” dream, or reach out to make a new connection.

    Why taking no risks is the biggest risk of all

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group If you’ve ever climbed a mountain, you know the meaning of risk. As you stand at the bottom, looking up, the summit seems a universe away. You may well consider your options at that moment: drop your gear and go back to a place of guaranteed safety or move forward, look up and embrace the risk interwoven in any worthy endeavor. “When you stand…

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  • Saying sorry is the sound of us all trying and failing and learning and growing- acknowledging a mistake and finding an opportunity for growth.

    Try, fail, learn, grow: Why acknowledging mistakes is key to business success

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group In a global company, individuals from different cultures come together to pursue a common business goal. When we connect across cultures, we can leverage each other’s strengths, knowledge and history to achieve new heights. But not all cultural interchange goes smoothly: Sometimes, individuals from different cultures can hold different views, and wh…

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  • Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani's message to employees after Rakuten Mobile shines at GSMA’s 2021 Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards at MWC Barcelona.

    Change happens faster than we can imagine: CEO reflects on Rakuten Mobile’s GLOMO Awards

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group Dear Rakutenians, I am delighted to share with you the news that Rakuten Mobile received two of the mobile industry’s top five global awards at the 2021 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. In addition to winning the Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough award, Rakuten Mobile received Global Mobile Awards top annual industry award from the global…

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  • Pride Month is a chance to recognize the individuality of our stakeholders and let them know that they are valued for who they are.

    Respecting basic human rights is the foundation of social progress: LGBT Equality Act

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group Each year, Pride Month is an important opportunity to celebrate the contributions of our LGBTQ+ team members, partners and customers around the world. It’s a chance to recognize the individual diversity of our stakeholders and let them know that they are valued for who they are; a chance to reassure employees that they have a safe and inclusive plac…

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  • Rakuten has become almost notorious in Japan for its bold commitment to unifying its language of communications through "Englishnization."

    Englishnization: Embracing a global vision

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group People in Japan often ask, “Do Rakuten employees really all speak English at work?” Through the years, our company has become almost notorious for our bold commitment to unifying the language of communications to one: One that happens not to be Japanese. More than a decade ago, I stood on stage in front of a room full of Rakuten employees and made a…

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  • If you’re not sure what to do next, ask “why?” - Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani shares inside insights on the importance of staying curious, from Business-Do.

    Always be curious and ambitious: Inside insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group If you’re not sure what to do next, ask “why?” “Why” questions are the genesis of innovation. Why does it take me so long to do my job? Why is this new website so popular? Why do some country’s economies grow while others stall? Personally, I have a long history of asking why. I’m not really a computer scientist, an engineer or a web designer. About…

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  • Setting goals creates a framework for success. A systematic spreadsheet approach ensures goals can be tracked and will be achieved.

    Set clear goals for your actions: Inside insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group, Inc. Hopes and goals are not the same thing.  Both may inspire you. But goals are what will ensure your success.  When you set goals, you create a framework for your forward progress. I call the process “getting to the spreadsheet.” This doesn’t mean you need to click open a file every time you take an action, but it’s the concept o…

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