Tadashi Yanai

Tadashi Yanai, CEO of Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing, is incorporating technology not just into the promotions of his company’s products, but also into the products themselves. Uniqlo partners with high-tech suppliers to develop clothes made from fabrics like HeatTech, which “creates heat to warm you up and keep you warm.” Uniqlo’s technical approach to fashion has made it one of the most successful retailers in the world. Will Uniqlo’s success have an affect on the future of retail?

Tadashi Yanai, CEO of the parent company of Japanese clothing juggernaut Uniqlo and the wealthiest person in Japan, found himself in San Francisco recently, opening his company's first West Coast store and explaining how Silicon Valley had influenced his fast-growing company. After some discussion of flat management hierarchies, the power of failure and the brilliance of Twitter, Yanai got down to brass tacks. "You have to be a crazy guy and a little eccentric to be very successful," Yanai says. "Whether it's Steve Jobs or [longtime Intel CEO] Andy Grove, they're crazy."

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