Kumon Exec Departs, Pleasing Protesting Franchisees
A key executive at Kumon North America resigned this week, President Akira Hamanaka said in an email to franchisees, exposing divisions on the board and within management ranks that had previously presented a united front.
Savio Rebelo, who was Kumon’s chief operating officer and a board member of the Teaneck, New Jersey-based franchisor, resigned effective Feb. 4. “Many of you might be surprised at this news, I am sure,” the president’s statement said. “However, it’s essentially important for all of the management members to keep a same vision unshakably and lead the company carrying the same value.”
Nicole Smith, president of the International Association of Kumon Franchisees, views the resignation as a good sign. She is leading efforts by the association to air concerns with management, but details serious rifts between the two sides in a story to be published in the March issue of Franchise Times.
“There is now more hopefulness among franchisees that positive changes have begun,” Smith wrote in an email. She described Rebelo’s style as “top-down.”