As Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of NEC Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Koji Kobayashi heads a company devoted to the manufacture of telecommunications, computers and electronic systems and equipment, including satellite communications systems and equipment, as well as electron devices.
Born in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, on 17 February 1907, Dr. Kobayashi graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1929, and received a degree of Doctor of Engineering from the same University in 1939. He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Monmouth College in 1968, an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York in 1971 and an honorary degree of Doctor from Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico in 1980.
Joining NEC Corporation in 1929, Dr. Kobayashi has spent his entire professional life with the same organization. He was appointed General Manager of NEC's Tamagawa Plant in 1946; Director of NEC in 1949; Senior Vice President in 1956; Executive Vice President in 1961; Senior Executive Vice President in 1962; President in 1964 and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in 1976.
Dr. Kobayashi is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, as well as past Chairman of the IEEE Tokyo Section. He is an officer and member of several organizations, industrial, professional and governmental. Some of these include Counsellor of the Science and Technology Agency, Prime Minister's Office; Member of the Aeronautics, Electronics and Other Advanced Technologies Council of the Science and Technology Agency, Prime Minister's Office; Advisor of the Space Exploration Committee, Science and Technology Agency; Prime Minister's Office; Executive Director of the Federation of Economic Organizations; Chairman of the Space Development Promotion Council, Federation of Economic Organizations; President of the Optoelectronic Industry and Technology Development Association; President of the Industrial Research Institute, Japan; Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering; Chairman of the Center for International Cooperation in Computerization; Member of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute of Communications; and Honorary Trustee of the Polytechnic Institute of New York.
Dr. Kobayashi is the author of many technical and industrial papers published in various professional journals. His latest books are "Challenges to the Computer Age," "The Problem of Management in the 1970's," "Quality-Oriented Management," "C & C (computers and communications) is Japan's Wisdom," and "C & C (computers and communications): The Software Challenge -A Human Perspective."
Dr. Kobayashi has been the recipient of both professional and governmental decorations and awards from Japan, such as, The Medal from the Imperial Invention Association of Japan (1954); The Purple Ribbon Medal from His Majesty the Emperor of Japan (1957); The Distinguished Service Award of the Institute of Electrical Communication Engineers of Japan (1957); the Blue Ribbon Medal from His Majesty the Emperor of Japan (1964); and The Meritorius Services Award from the Prime Minister of Japan for Export Promotion (1964). Dr. Kobayashi has also received Orders of Merit from Paraguay, Jordan, Egypt, Brazil, Poland, Thailand, Peru and Madagascar.
Dr. Kobayashi and his wife, the former Kazuko Noda, have three children-Teiko, Kimiko, and Noriko. (Editor's Note: Dr. Kobayashi passed away on 20 November 1996 in Tokyo, Japan.)
Dr. Kobayashi was awarded the 1984 IEEE Founders Medal "For leadership in the development of computer and communications technologies, their integration into modern networks, and the worldwide expansion of electronics."
See also: Koji Kobayashi Oral History