Hiroshi Mikitani is Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, Inc., Born in Kobe, Japan, Mikitani earned his undergraduate degree in commerce from Hitotsubashi University in 1988. After graduation, he joined the Industrial Bank of Japan (IBJ), Limited, now Mizuho Corporate Bank, and became an investment banker. While working at IBJ, Mikitani attended Harvard Business School and earned his MBA in 1993, he was also presented with the HBS Alumni Achievement Award in 2012, one of the school’s highest honors. In 1995, Mikitani left IBJ and founded Crimson Group the following year, a consulting company, and became its President and CEO. In February of 1997, he founded MDM, Inc. (now Rakuten, Inc.) and became its President and CEO. With only a handful of staff, Mikitani successfully launched the “Rakuten Ichiba” in May of the same year. In June 1999, MDM, Inc. changed its name to Rakuten, Inc. Rakuten, Inc. completed its IPO and was listed on the JASDAQ market in April 2000. Selected by Forbes as 7th among the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2012, Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas.