Ray (Rehito) Hatoyama
Ray is a Venture Partner at Sozo Ventures. He is highly experienced in corporate strategies for globalization, corporate governance, and innovation in IT and the entertainment industry.
In his earlier role as the Managing Director of Sanrio Co. (owner of the wildly popular Hello Kitty brand), Ray executed Sanrio’s global expansion strategy. Not only did Hello Kitty become an iconic brand worldwide, Ray also succeeded in the acquisition of a UK brand, Mr. Men Little Miss, and brought the franchise to Hollywood. As a global strategist, he saw the firm’s market cap rise from $500 million to over $6 billion in the five years after he joined the company in 2008.
Ray serves on various company boards as an independent director, including LINE Corp. (the largest SNS in Japan), Pigeon Corp. (Japan’s leading childcare and nursing products company), and Transcosmos Inc. (focused on business process outsourcing in Asia). He also advises ANKI (known for Cozmo), Pokemon, UUUM, LVMH Group (Asia), and Level 5 Abby, among others.
Ray is also the CEO of Hatoyama Studio, his own research and consulting arm.
Education, Personal, and Fellowship
Ray graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University’s School of International Politics, Economics, and Communication in Tokyo, and earned his MBA at Harvard Business School. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University.
In 2015, Ray was named as one of the 31 most successful Harvard Business School graduates by Business Insider.
As a member of Class 22, Ray served his fellowship at Sozo Ventures under the mentorship of Sozo’s Founder and General Partner, Phil Wickham (Charter Class).