Message From Leadership


Mickey’s Message

Think about "how I may achieve something"
and then try to do it.
This is where the fun in business lies.

Chairman and CEO
Hiroshi Mikitani

Rakuten has valued entrepreneurship ever
since its founding.

My job hunting days were at the height of the bubble economy. At the time, I was focused on joining big corporations and had no intention of myself becoming an entrepreneur. I started working at a major bank with a vague idea that I wanted "a job that would take me around the world."

However, during my time in banking, I studied abroad at the Harvard Business School in the U.S., an experience that significantly changed my values. Until then, I had thought that the goal of a business person was to get ahead in a big company, but at Harvard I learned that starting a business was the greatest possible achievement in business. In the United States, people who start small companies are praised. I realized that business people are happier when they work in a place where they can achieve their maximum potential. At the age of 30, I left the bank and started Rakuten.

I want people who work at Rakuten to experience this kind of joy, which is why I have placed so much importance on fostering and stimulating entrepreneurship since its founding. I believe that creating a corporate culture where new businesses are launched from scratch leads to the personal growth of employees and increases the competitiveness of the company overall. Furthermore, I do not use the Japanese translation of "entrepreneurship" as "the spirit of starting new businesses," but rather as "the spirit to succeed in business." This is because I believe that growing a business in a sustainable manner is far more socially meaningful than simply launching new businesses is.

Rakuten's greatest
weapon is its confidence
in having established its own business.

In 1997, internet shopping malls were simply catalogs turned into websites. When I asked for advice on how to start such a business, many senior executives told me, "You can't possibly succeed doing what big companies have failed to do."

However, I thought that opportunity lay precisely in the fact that people around me were not aware of the true potential of this business model, so I thought long and hard for about a week, eventually coming up with an answer. My idea was to create a system where "people who are good at business could easily open a store," rather than doing business with "people who are good at systems." Rakuten's concept is to provide sellers with the system, traffic, and know-how so that they can open a store even on a small scale while providing consumers with the "fun of discovery" similar to shopping at a real "ichiba (market)," even though they are shopping on the internet.

The experience of developing the system and providing customers the joy of shopping on the internet, in addition to the confidence we earned from having launched the business with our own hands, is what drives us to face the next challenge and is the greatest weapon of Rakuten.

Aiming to be a company
that continues to produce innovative, world-class services

Rakuten's corporate philosophy is "Empowering people and society through innovation" and aims to create world-class innovative services as a "Global Innovation Company." In order to realize this goal and to create an organization with strong innovation and operational capabilities, the Rakuten Group established the "Rakuten Shugi (Rakuten Basic Principles)" as a guideline for our activities, which we share among our employees.

Under these shared values, in order to meet the various needs of people around the world and constantly provide new value, we place importance on creating a diversity-rich work environment where people and ideas can flow openly. Starting with just six people in the early days of the company in 1997, this venture has grown into an ever growing group of talented and energetic people from over 100 countries and regions around the world. Rakuten is committed to creating systems and environments that enable employees from different backgrounds to work in their own way, maintain their entrepreneurial spirit, and achieve their full potential.

Business is the
best entertainment.
I want to work with people who can share our values.

For me, business is almost like a sport. For example, just as baseball is simply a job to an athlete like Ichiro Suzuki, I believe that business itself is an enthralling form of entertainment.

However, we have to be "professional business players" to the very end. So, while it is important to have fun, it's meaningless if you don't win. I think this mindset is crucial for business as well. I would like to work with people who share these values.

The important thing is to "follow through" as a professional. To "Get Things Done" is a strong determination to do whatever it takes to accomplish things by exhausting all possible approaches. When you don't meet your goals, instead of making excuses to yourself by saying things like "well, I've made it this far," think more about how you can achieve the goal and then try again. I think that is where the fun of business lies.

A company is like a team that competes together on the "field" of business. We want to encourage each and every person who works here to play an active role and develop their talents.

Chairman and CEO
Hiroshi Mikitani

HR Message

Exciting and inspiring work
with an excellent team.

Representative Director,
Group Executive Vice President

Kentaro Hyakuno

What is the appeal and best part of working at Rakuten?

A company that leads the way in changing times with an unchanging culture

Rakuten is committed to evolving constantly and being a world leader in industry. I joined Rakuten in 2007, motivated by my desire to build the world's number one company in the service industry. Since then, the name "Rakuten" has become more widespread around the world with changes not only in the scale of its business but also in the environment in which its employees work. What started out as operating the Rakuten Ichiba online shopping mall has now expanded to include more than 70 services, including internet services such as travel and digital content, fintech services such as banking and securities, mobile services such as our mobile carrier business, and professional sports. In addition, the globalization of our company is well underway, with about one in four employees being foreign nationals.

Even in the midst of such rapid change, Rakuten is able to maintain its consciousness as "One Team" because of our dedication to maintaining our unique culture. While adopting "offensive" measures to take the organization to the next stage, we also maintain certain unchanging "defensive" aspects. I think this balance is one of the main reasons why the Group is able to continue to evolve as a whole.

Moving forward, we at Rakuten intend to continue "empowering" people and society through innovation. Being a part of that social contribution is the best thing about working at Rakuten. The excitement never ends for me.

What kind of people does
Rakuten seek?

Employees who are
self-driven and capable of carving out their own future

Whether you are a new graduate or a mid-career worker, Rakuten is looking for people who want to pursue their career path with persistence. Also, another important characteristic is to be a "self-starter" who is motivated to make things happen.

Our culture encourages highly capable, motivated, and skilled employees to develop their talents to the fullest, regardless of their age. Even if you are a new employee, you will have opportunities to make presentations in front of the director in charge and report to your boss at the director level on a daily basis.

The company also provides support for study abroad at some of the world's leading business schools and cross-cultural communication training for managing members with a range of backgrounds.

One of the most notable career path programs is the "Open Position System". When a project or department needs new members, instead of recruiting externally, the "Open Position System" allows the team to recruit interested people from within the company first. If you are willing to create your own future, you will be able to play an active role in a wide variety of businesses, services, and positions at Rakuten.

What do you want to say to applicants?

Rakuten's diversity as a
global standard

One of Rakuten's strengths is that it recruits talented people from all over the world to compete on the global stage. In fact, our employees come from more than 100 different countries. As a company with global aspirations, we continue to evolve and improve our work environment with consideration for diversity in terms of nationality, culture, and gender. English is the official language of the company, which has encouraged a culture of direct interaction among employees that transcends nationalities to take root.

This diversity is one of Rakuten's strengths. It is only by acknowledging each other's differences, indeed, our diversity, and overcoming these barriers that inspiration and new values are created. Our employees come from all over the world and from a variety of backgrounds to grow together to create new value for Rakuten and the world.

At Rakuten, everyone works as one team to take on the world. We are looking for people who are willing to work together to achieve this goal.