Mickey’s Voice

Insights from our CEO

  • Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani shares his thoughts on finding the right kind of mentorship and emphasizes how everyone can be your teacher.

    Everyone Is Your Teacher

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group What could you learn if everyone you met could also be your teacher? It is common for people in business to seek out a mentor or advisor. I was asked recently at a staff meeting what I consider the attributes of the ideal role model to be. Many assume that to be successful, one needs a single, dedicated guide – a sensei – to give sage advice and dir…

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  • On April 1, 2022, Rakuten Group Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani delivered his annual welcome speech to new grads in person for the first time since 2019.

    Rakuten welcomes 2022 new grads in person in Tokyo

    Every April, companies across Japan welcome hundreds of thousands of fresh university graduates from across the country to join their ranks as full-time employees. Rakuten held this year’s annual spring entrance ceremony for new grads in person for the first time since 2019, after quickly pivoting to a work from home model and fully-virtualized entrance ceremony at the beginning of the pande…

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  • During the 2022 Rakuten Ichiba New Year Conference, Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani shared perpectives on what's ahead for e-commerce in Japan.

    Mickey Mikitani on sustainability, Japan’s e-commerce potential and an ambitious ten trillion yen goal

    Every January, Japan’s leading e-commerce platform hits the ground running with the Rakuten Ichiba New Year Conference. The conference is an opportunity for the thousands of merchants who attend online and in person to hear Rakuten perspectives on what’s ahead for e-commerce, including frank and open comments from Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani. Halfway to 10 trillion In 2021, Rakuten reached a signi…

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  • Rakuten Group Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani shares his simple decision-making system with a three-point framework.

    A three-point decision-making framework: Profit, passion & public good

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group The world is full of great ideas. But which ones will come to fruition? “Deciding which projects get our time and attention are critical choices that shape our future.” MICKEY MIKITANI, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, RAKUTEN GROUP As a leader, it’s important not to leave that decision to chance. Deciding which projects get our time and attention are critical cho…

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  • 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 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 employees,…

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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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