Shunji Takehana, a 25-year veteran at the food seasoning provider, is now SVP and general manager for Ajinomoto Corporate Venture Capital.

Shunji Takehana

Japanese amino acid seasonings producer Ajinomoto has promoted Shunji Takehana to senior vice-president and general manager of innovation strategy and corporate venture capital at its Ajinomoto Corporate Venture Capital subsidiary.

Takehana, currently based in San Francisco, joined Ajinomoto’s corporate venturing team in Tokyo as CVC group manager after it was formed, before moving up to VP and CVC general manager in July 2023. The unit was launched in late 2020 to focus on strategic areas for Ajinomoto, which is best known for its monosodium glutamate (MSG) seasoning.

The unit initially concentrated on Japanese startups but expanded to the US in February this year. It has yet to disclose new investments in North America, but its portfolio includes Myco Technology, an American company developing fungi-based food processing technology.

Takehana had previously spent nearly two decades at Ajinomoto in various roles across Japan and the US. He concurrently held a a venture partner position at Mitsui and Co. Global Investment, the CVC subsidiary of conglomerate Mitsui, for three years from 2015.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.