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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.”


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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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