TOKYO – It was a defining moment for the new CEO of Japan’s largest automotive supplier: Denso Corp., bluest of the blue chips, had a bottom line that turned distinctly red. Nobuaki Katoh, just three months on the job, was faced with the perfect storm. For nine consecutive months after the shock of the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy ushered in a major global recession in September 2008, Katoh witnessed a steady erosion of Denso’s cash holdings as operating losses mounted to ...

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