Industry leader and visionary leaves legacy of creativity, passion and innovation
Florence, Kentucky, September 16, 2011 – It is with great sadness that Mazak Corporation announces the passing of Mr. Teruyuki (Terry) Yamazaki, chairman and CEO of Yamazaki Mazak Corporation. Mr. Yamazaki was the son of Mr. Sadakichi Yamazaki, founder of Yamazaki Machinery, later Yamazaki Mazak Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of machine tools. Teruyuki Yamazaki was 82 years old.
Mr. Yamazaki began his 65-year career in the manufacturing industry when he joined his father’s business in May of 1946. Together with his father, Mr. Yamazaki acquired high quality, used machine tools, and restored them to their original state. Mr. Yamazaki’s commitment to the highest quality standards and continuous improvement would permeate his entire career.
Mr. Yamazaki was appointed president of Yamazaki Machinery in 1962, the beginning of a decade that would lay the foundation for the company’s long-term global growth and expansion. The next year, the first Mazak-branded machine tools were manufactured. Yamazaki Machinery was renamed Yamazaki Mazak Corporation in 1968.
Over the next 40 years, Mr. Yamazaki led the company to become one of the most innovative manufacturers of machine tools in the world and the industry leader in the development of many advanced manufacturing technologies, including Multi-Tasking machines. During his tenure, Mr. Yamazaki established a new world headquarters and five manufacturing plants in Japan, along with manufacturing plants in the United States, United Kingdom, China and Singapore and 35 Technology Centers worldwide.
Recognized by the industry as a bold business leader committed to internationalization and passionate technology visionary, Mr. Yamazaki has been characterized as the ‘father of advanced manufacturing technology’ and is credited for bringing Japanese machine tools to the international marketplace.
“Today, Mazak and the entire machine tool industry mourns the loss of a visionary who forever changed the course of manufacturing,” said Brian Papke, president of Mazak Corporation. “Those of us who had the honor and privilege of working with Terry mourn the loss of a leader who inspired in our company each day a passion for excellence and a commitment to service. Today, I mourn the loss of a treasured mentor and friend.” Papke continued, “Terry cultivated a culture of integrity, innovation and respect for new ideas at our company, one that we will continue in his memory.”
During the course of Mr. Yamazaki’s leadership, Yamazaki Mazak Corporation was honored with many awards, including the Order of Leopold by the King of Belgium, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the Order of the Rising Sun, the Phillip B. Crosby Global Competition Award, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Engineering Award, and the Okouchi Memorial Foundation Award for Production, among many others. Mr. Yamazaki also served as the deputy chairman of the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association from 1987-2007.
In 2001, Mr. Yamazaki passed the role of president on to his son, Mr. Tomohisa Yamazaki, and assumed the role of chairman of the company. Mr. Yamazaki continued to contribute to company strategy and guidance until his death on September 15, 2011.
Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Yamazaki was an avid collector of fine art. He began what would become an unprecedented private collection during the course of his world travels, and nurtured a passion for French art, the masters of the Rococo period, Neo-Classical painters, the Realists, the Impressionists and the Art Nouveau movement, as well as glassware and furniture. Among the many important works in Mr. Yamazaki’s collection are Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ and original pieces by Picasso, Rouault and Bonnard.
In April of 2010, the Yamazaki Mazak Museum of Art was opened in Aoi-cho in the heart of Nagoya, Japan. Mr. Yamazaki served as the director of his museum, which is open to the public.