Kotaro Sawada is the president, chief executive and representative director of Zozo Inc. The group operates one of Japan's largest fashion e-commerce platforms Zozotown and several fashion technologies including Wear, a smartphone app for sharing styling and outfits, and 3-D body shape and skin tone measurement tools dubbed Zozosuit, Zozomat and Zozoglass. Sawada laid the groundwork for Zozotown’s luxury e-commerce platform Zozovilla, which launched in 2021 selling dozens of high-profile international brands, and is credited with securing them as partners.
The Yokohama-born executive started his career at NTT Data Corporation after graduating from Waseda University in the faculty of science and engineering. After gaining experience at two consulting firms, in 2008 he was appointed representative director of Start Today Consulting Co (a subsidiary of Start Today Co Ltd which was renamed Zozo Inc in 2018). Sawada became chief executive of Zozo in 2019, taking the reins from the company’s charismatic founder Yusaku Maezawa. Sawada’s more down-to-earth approach is said to have brought a different working culture to the firm as it embarks on more high-tech ventures and fashion industry innovations such as Made by Zozo, a production support service to reduce excess inventory risk, and Zozo Next, its dynamic R&D lab.