Yasutoshi Hiratsuka (Yasu) was appointed as kyu's director in April 2023.
Yasu graduated from a Japanese university in 1987 and joined Hakuhodo, now part of HDY, starting his career as a marketing planner offering research insights and strategy to many Japanese clients. In 1993, Yasu moved to account servicing and led a variety of strategic, creative, and PR proposals.
Having earned the trust of a CEO at a client company, Yasu began consulting that CEO on managerial issues and public speaking. Ready to expand his knowledge and experience in marketing and communications, Yasu enrolled in the Kellogg Management School at Northwestern University in 1998 after winning Hakuhodo's sponsorship. There, he focused intensively on subjects outside of Hakuhodo’s scope, including finance, accounting, organizational behavior, and entrepreneurship.
He returned to Hakuhodo in 2000 and worked in the Corporate Planning Division under Hirokazu Toda, now Chairman of HDY, and Naoto Akagi, kyu’s executive vice president. During that period, he was instrumental in initiatives such as the realization of HDY (merger of Daiko and Yomiko) and the establishment of Hakuhodo Products, now one of the largest production agencies in Japan.
In 2007, Yasu transferred to Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, HDY's integrated media agency, where he led an initiative to design new kinds of revenue-generating solutions by leveraging media relations and resources.
In 2012, he returned to Hakuhodo's Corporate Planning Division and developed the growth strategy for the overseas business in Hakuhodo’s mid-term business plan starting from 2014. In 2014, he became the general manager of the Global Marketing Service Division, a new initiative specializing in mergers and acquisitions in Hakuhodo International Unit (HIU). Since then, he has led 14 investments and catalyzed the exponential growth of Hakuhodo’s international business.
In April 2023, Yasu moved to HDY. Working alongside Naoto, Yasu is responsible for the growth of HDY's overall overseas business and the bridging of HIU and kyu.
Yasu lived in London and Paris as a child and is the married father of two boys.