About us

The Rakuten People & Culture Lab was established in October 2018 as a research institute focused on new relationships between organizations and individuals and the future of corporate culture. With its Advisory Board comprised of industry experts from a range of fields, the lab collects pioneering examples and research findings from around the world, and following verification within the Rakuten Group, aims to establish new theories and create innovative solutions.

To ensure high-quality output, the Rakuten People & Culture Lab carries out research and develops solutions in flexible collaboration with experts in each domain.
With our Advisory Board, we collect pioneering examples and research findings from around the world. In addition, Rakuten members manage each project to establish theories and develop solutions.

Advisory board members

  • Jeremie Brecheisen

    Jeremie Brecheisen

    Partner, Managing Director of The Gallup CHRO Roundtable

    Details

    Jeremie Brecheisen

    Partner, Managing Director of The Gallup CHRO Roundtable

    Advises leaders and managers to improve business performance and creates solutions that change culture, positioning teams and organizations to succeed.
    Jeremie is the global leader of The Gallup CHRO Roundtable, the largest club of CHROs in the world with 1,000+ big company CHROs. Jeremie is also on Gallup’s Europe leadership team, is a regular contributor and subject matter expert for many topics on Gallup.com, including Gallup’s Real Future of Work series, the future of HR and industry-specific challenges. He has personally trained or coached thousands of managers and has architected workplace solutions for hundreds of thousands more.
    Jeremie is an experienced public speaker, having presented at many public conferences such as HRD Summits, MoneyLive Events, HCI Conferences, Argyle Conferences, Merit Summits and Corenet Conventions among others. He has served as keynote speaker at international coventions with audiences of over 30,000 and live streaming audiences of more than 10,000. He regularly conducts Gallup’s official Real Future of Work webinars and many others to international audiences.
    Jeremie has managed some of Gallup’s largest global organizational development clients, and his work has taken him all over the globe, including North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Jeremie speaks conversational Mandarin Chinese.

    EDUCATION
    Brigham Young University
    Bachelor’s Degree, Modern Asian History
    University of Hawaii
    Master’s Degree, China International M.B.A.
  • Yosuke Yagi

    Yosuke Yagi

    CEO at people first Ltd.

    Details

    Yosuke Yagi

    CEO at people first Ltd.

    In January 2017, after taking HR leadership roles in large corporations, Yosuke Yagi founded people first Ltd. He serves in advisor positions at large companies in Japan and provides professional HR services to them.
    Prior to establishing his own company, Yagi assumed the Executive Officer and Executive Vice President position at LIXIL Group Corporation, a global leading company in the housing and living industry. He led HR to transform the company from a Japanese domestic company to a global company.
    Yagi worked at GE from 1999 to 2012. He led multiple businesses as a HR leader in GE’s Asian businesses. From 1980 to 1998, he worked for NKK (currently JFE), the second largest steel company in Japan. He received his B. A. degree from Kyoto University and Master of Science Degree in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School.

    戦略人事のビジョン
  • Tsedal Neeley, Ph.D.

    Tsedal Neeley, Ph.D.

    Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School

    Details

    Tsedal Neeley, Ph.D.

    Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School

    Tsedal Neeley, Ph.D., (@tsedal) is the Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and an award-winning scholar, teacher, and expert on virtual and global work. She regularly advises top leaders who are embarking on virtual work and large-scale change that involves global expansion, digital transformation and becoming more agile. She is the author of Remote work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere (Harper Collins) and the award-winning book The Language of Global Success: How a Common Tongue Transforms Multinational Organizations (Princeton University Press). She serves on the Board of Directors of Brightcove, Brown Capital Management, Harvard Business Publishing and the Partnership Inc. She is also on Rakuten’s advisory board.
    Named to Thinkers50 On the Radar list for making lasting contributions to management, her work has also been published in top journals and has been featured on BBC, Wall Street Journal, CNN, NPR, and MarketWatch, as well as in Forbes, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Nikkei, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and in many other outlets. She received her PhD from Stanford University in Management Science and Engineering, specializing in work, technology and organizations.
  • Ryuji Nakatake

    Ryuji Nakatake

    CEO of Teambox Inc.

    Details

    Ryuji Nakatake

    CEO of Teambox Inc.
    Vice Managing Director of Japan Wheelchair Rugby Federation
    Managing Director of Sports Coaching Japan Association

    After serving at Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc., Ryuji Nakatake was appointed as the director of the rugby club at Waseda University. In 2010, he became the coaching director who leads leaders as "a coach of coaches" in the Japan Rugby Football Union. From 2012 to 2015, he was head coach of the U20 Japan national team and served as the substitutional head coach of the Japan national team in 2016.
    Nakatake started Teambox Inc. in 2014 in order to provide training services for company leaders. In 2018, he launched the Sports Coaching Association, where he serves as managing director, creating and encouraging learning opportunities for coaches.
    His books includes “Winning Culture”, ”Leadership to Followership” and he is a supervising editor and translator of “Insight”.
  • Yoshiki Ishikawa

    Yoshiki Ishikawa

    Public Health Researcher, PhD in Medicine
    Representative Director, Well-being for Planet Earth Foundation

    Details

    Yoshiki Ishikawa

    Public Health Researcher, PhD in Medicine
    Representative Director, Well-being for Planet Earth Foundation

    Yoshiki earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Science from the University of Tokyo, a Master of Science in Health Policy and Management from Harvard School of Public Health, and a PhD in Medicine from Jichi Medical School.
    As a public health researcher, entrepreneur, and science journalist, Yoshiki is working at the intersection of science, business, and government as a catalyst with the aim of advancing the well-being of society.

    フルライフ考え続ける力
  • Susumu Nagayama

    Susumu Nagayama

    Associate Professor, Center for the Promotion of Social Data Science Education and Research, Hitotsubashi University

    Details

    Susumu Nagayama

    Associate Professor, Center for the Promotion of Social Data Science Education and Research, Hitotsubashi University

    Susumu Nagayama was born in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan in 1982. After leaving the Faculty of Information Sciences at Hiroshima City University, he transferred to and graduated from Waseda University’s Faculty of Commerce. Upon graduation from Waseda's graduate school, Nagayama earned his PhD in commercial studies from the same university. In 2017, he was appointed to Hosei University’s Faculty of Business Administration. In 2022, he was appointed to Hitotsubashi University's Center for the Promotion of Social Data Science Education and Research.
    Nagayama specializes in organizational theory and his main research theme is organizational creativity.
  • Takuya Kitagawa

    Takuya Kitagawa

    Director, Well-being for Planet Earth Foundation

    Details

    Takuya Kitagawa

    Director, Well-being for Planet Earth Foundation

    Dr. Kitagawa is an entrepreneur and a co-founder of Well-being for Planet Earth and Unson foundation, whose missions contribute to the long-term well-being of human society. He was previously chief data officer and managing executive officer of Rakuten Group, in charge of AI and data strategy, research and execution,, managing over 1000 people located across the world including Japan, U.S., India, France and Singapore. He is a theoretical physicist by education and contributed to the establishment of the theory for dynamical (Floquet) induction of topological phases with more than 20 academic publications. He co-founded Topologic, inc. in order to commercialize topological materials in industry. He obtained his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University and A.B. in physics and mathematics from Harvard College.

Team

  • Masatada Kobayashi

    Masatada Kobayashi

    Group Managing Executive Officer/Chief Well-Being Officer,
    Rakuten Group, Inc.

    Details

    Masatada Kobayashi

    Group Managing Executive Officer/Chief Well-Being Officer,
    Rakuten Group, Inc.

    After graduating from Keio University in 1994, Masatada Kobayashi took part in the founding of Rakuten in 1997, serving as the director of the company’s online shopping mall. He experienced a diverse range of management methods both inside and outside of Japan as Rakuten’s original six-person team grew to 100, then 1,000, and now more than 20,000 employees, forming a diverse, multinational workforce hailing from more than 70 countries and regions around the world.
    In April 2012, Kobayashi relocated to the United States where he was appointed president of the Rakuten’s Americas headquarters. Subsequently, he was appointed president of the Singapore-based Asia headquarters in September 2014, where he served until 2017. He now serves as Rakuten’s Chief Well-Being Officer (CWO), a role aimed at spreading happiness throughout the organization.
    Since 2001, Kobayashi has focused his energies on nurturing young talent through initiatives such as establishing Keio University’s Seichu Scholarship. In 2011, he was elected as a member of the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders. He is also a special guest professor at Keio University’s Shonan Fujisawa Campus and is the proud father of two sons and three daughters.
  • Tatsuo Hidaka

    Tatsuo Hidaka

    Head of Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Details

    Tatsuo Hidaka

    Head of Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Tatsuo Hidaka joined Rakuten in January 2018. Currently, he serves as general manager of the Employee Engagement Department at Rakuten Group, Inc., general manager of the Corporate Culture Department at Rakuten Asia Pte. Ltd., and the head of the Rakuten People and Culture Lab; all of which operate separately from Rakuten’s HR department.
    Hidaka oversees the enhancement of Rakuten’s corporate culture, ensuring that it contributes to sustainable growth worldwide. He has led his global team from Singapore for the past two years, conducting initiatives such as Mission-Vision-Value (MVV) sharing, Post Merger Integration (PMI) consulting and “one team” culture creation across the Americas, EMEA, APAC and Japan.
    Before coming to Rakuten, Hidaka worked for the management consulting company Link and Motivation Inc. and has managed multiple organizational restructuring projects for major corporations. He was seconded to Intec Japan Inc. (currently Link Global Solution Inc.) in 2012. After being promoted to executive officer in 2014, he was appointed as a company director just two years later.
    Hidaka’s consulting approach is based on business theory and draws from his broad personal experience. He incorporates various perspectives across all layers of management and employees, from business and HR, from those in the majority as well as those in the minority, and from global and local perspectives. He also serves as a research associate at Waseda University’s Institute for Transnational Human Resource Management.
  • Naoko Enomoto

    Naoko Enomoto

    Solution Development
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Details

    Naoko Enomoto

    Solution Development
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Naoko Enomoto engages in solution development, connecting the knowledge she has gained from the Rakuten People & Culture Lab with actual organizational development and philosophy sharing activities within the Rakuten Group. Prior to joining Rakuten in 2020, she worked at Alue Co., Ltd. and as a freelancer. Enomoto is the mother of one child.Naoko Enomoto engages in solution development, connecting the knowledge she has gained from the Rakuten People & Culture Lab with actual organizational development and philosophy sharing activities within the Rakuten Group. Prior to joining Rakuten in 2020, she worked at Alue Co., Ltd. and as a freelancer. Enomoto is the mother of one child.
  • Yutaka Otsuka

    Yutaka Otsuka

    Project management
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Details

    Yutaka Otsuka

    Project management
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Upon graduating from Waseda University’s School of Commerce in 1995, Yutaka Otsuka worked in the field of marketing research and as a marketing BI analyst before joining Rakuten in 2019. After approximately two years in the Global Data Supervisory Department, he transferred to the Rakuten People & Culture Lab in 2021.
    Leveraging his 13 years of work at a foreign-affiliated firm, Otsuka gave form to his intercultural job experience through research at Yokohama City University’s Graduate School of International Management, attaining his master’s degree in business administration in 2017. His research theme at the time was: An Empirical Study of Japanese Adaptation to Multicultural Organizations—Discussion through Perspectives on National Cultures and Attributes Required for Cross-Cultural Adaptation. It was during that process that he learned about the concept of well-being.
    Leveraging the research experience in graduate school and the quantitative research and date analysis skills he gained in his career, Otsuka aims to empower the Rakuten Group and society as a whole.
  • Yukiko Ochiai

    Yukiko Ochiai

    Solution development
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Details

    Yukiko Ochiai

    Solution development
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Yukiko Ochiai joined Rakuten in 2000 to create a world in which people can live happily even in rural areas. Ochiai provided member support and quality control for some of Rakuten’s first services, such as Rakuten Ichiba. Since then, she has been involved in such businesses as Rakuten Travel, Rakuten Books and Rakuten GORA, working on the integration, quality management, system development and cross-sectional platform development of an increasing range of new businesses and acquired services.
    Currently, aiming for a world in which employees can work happily, Ochiai is in charge of solution development at the Rakuten People & Culture Lab, developing content that connects Rakuten's corporate philosophy and personal values. Aiming to create more enjoyable training and culture-sharing approaches, she expands on workshops, surveys and other traditional approaches with such new methods as board games, card games and chat tool stamps.
  • Yuki Sugihara

    Yuki Sugihara

    Project management
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Details

    Yuki Sugihara

    Project management
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Within the Rakuten People & Culture Lab, Yuki Sugihara manages research projects related to new relationships and corporate culture between individuals and organizations, and responsibilities that included the drafting of the company’s Collective Well-being Guidelines.
    In her previous job, Sugihara was involved in various deals in Japan and overseas at an M&A advisory firm for about five years, mainly supporting the development and execution of strategies and concepts related to post-merger integration (PMI). She was involved in a range of M&A support activities, from M&A strategy development to business due diligence and PMI.
    Sugihara has a B.A. in Foreign Studies from Tokyo University and received her M.A. in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford’s Dept. of Peace Studies. She previously worked for ABeam Consulting, the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, and GCA Corporation before joining Rakuten in 2020.
  • Shokhsanam Umurzakova

    Shokhsanam Umurzakova

    Project management
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Details

    Shokhsanam Umurzakova

    Project management
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Shokhsanam Umurzakova is an Organization Development Specialist at Rakuten mainly focusing on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging initiatives. Originally coming from Uzbekistan, she attended Russian school up until university. She came to Japan in 2013 to pursue her bachelor's degree at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. Majoring in International Business Management, she spent a semester in Denmark studying at Copenhagen Business School. Prior to joining Rakuten, she worked for a consulting company Link Global Solution Inc. where she was involved in overseas recruitment, global talent development and employee engagement.
    As it can be inferred from her profile, she has been always surrounded by diverse cultures and people of different backgrounds. This has shaped her career goals and aspirations to promote diversity and inclusion within organizations and share these ideas with the society.
  • Alan Sy

    Alan Sy

    Solution Development
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    Details

    Alan Sy

    Solution Development
    Rakuten People & Culture Lab

    At Rakuten Mobile, Alan’s main role is to foster a culture of highly engaged individuals and create a sense of belonging. How does he do this? He creates, implements and facilitates training programs and initiatives that empowers the individual; giving them the tools, knowledge and opportunities to work more effectively in a diverse and inclusive environment.
    He has worked with over 30 major Japanese and global companies designing training programs for their global talent. His expertise includes coaching, curriculum and training development, performing needs analysis and identifying skill gaps. He enjoys generating new ideas and devising feasible solutions to broadly relevant problems.