Founder and CEO

Founder and CEO, Highland Creek Kensaku Iida
Kensaku Iida
Founder and CEO, Highland Creek

Ken started his career as a junior diplomat at the Embassy of Japan to the United States of America in Washington, D.C. in 1994 and spent 4 years in the capital of the United States. After finishing a summer internship at ESCAP, United Nations in Bangkok, Thailand, he returned to Japan to start a Strategy Consulting career at Accenture where he provided strategy consulting service to public sector organizations, manufacturers, insurance companies, leasing companies, IT services, to name a few, for 9 years.

He went on to develop a career in retail, holding a wide range of executive officer positions in Merchandising, Merchandising Planning, eCommerce, Supply Chain at Walmart Japan / Seiyu. He led several key projects such as Walmart system implementation, Strategic Alliance with DeNA for its online grocery business and implementation of a new fulfillment center. In 2014, he started working at Toysrus Japan where he was a Vice President supervising eCommerce, Merchandising, Merchandising Planning and Supply Chain. He drove strategic initiatives centering around Omnichannel, implementing global SaaS, replacing the eCommerce Platform and partnering with Google. Resultantly, eCommerce Division booked addtional +JPY10b to their topline since he arrived.

He was invited to Walt Disney Company Japan in 2019 as Vice President to lead its Direct-To-Consumer Retail organization (Disney Store, shopDisney). He replaced the eCommerce platform named, “shopDisney,” launched a Disney-hosted marketplace, added an On-demand customizable D-Made feature, and plugged in Contentsquare, Unerry, NPS, Autostore and many other innovations. Together with Hikky, he also launched the very first Disney Virtual Store in the world in 2020. He was the main driver behind Disney Flagship Store Tokyo that opened in Shinjuku as the biggest Disney Store in the world in 2021.

He joined LAOX as COO in November 2020. Ken led LAOX Holdings as CEO while also holding Chairman position to its core subsidiary, Shaddy, as well as CEO to LAOX Digital that a subsidiary he founded. His tenure at LAOX overlapped with COVID-19 fully. Nevertheless, he led the company to improve its bottom line by JPY17b over 3 fiscal years and bolstered its first positive Net Income in 5 years in FY2022. At Shaddy, LAOX’s largest subsidiary, he thoroughly reviewed COGS, improved product margin while launched the very first Toy Catalogue and Baby Catalogue. He also closed an alliance contract with Disney to publish its first Disney Catalogue and launched its very first Disney Metaverse Catalogue. Shaddy started growing its topline for the first time in 15 years in 2022 and grew its bottom line for 3 consecutive years.

Leveraging his in-depth business experience and executive networks, he founded a business consulting boutique firm, “Highland Creek,” in 2023 to provide advisory and brokerage services.

He has a bachelors degree in Economics from Sophia University, course completion certificate from Salzburg College, and a masters degree in International Relations from Yale University.

Academia &
Foreign Mission
10 yrs
  • Public sector officers and leaders (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United Nations)
  • Academia and class mates who are now leaders every corner of the world (US, Europe, Japan and elsewhere)
Strategy Consulting
9 yrs
  • Top-tier companies C-suite executives across industries
  • Professional services experts (Consultants, Investment Bankers, etc.)
  • Startup founders (a lot of my ex colleagues launched startups)
US Retail
10 yrs
  • Walmart executives and colleagues
  • Product suppliers, Grocery, Consumables, Fresh Food, General Merchandise, Apparel, etc.
  • Digital players coworked on Online Grocery Business
  • Supply Chain / Logistics companies built fulfillment centers
  • Global and domestic product manufacturers, suppliers and importers, baby and toys
  • GAFAM executives and global tech startup founders coworked on our omnichannel initiatives
  • Disney executives and colleagues
  • OEM manufactures across the merchandising fields
  • Media
  • Recruiting executives
Cross Border
2.5 yrs
  • Publicly-listed as well as private companies’ CEOs
  • Financial institutions, banks and securities
  • Professional services experts, investment bankers, asset managers, legal advisors, accountants, real estate managers, etc.
  • Cross-border business executives
  • Gifting industry suppliers
  • Asian foods importers
  • Offshore system integrators and digital transformation supporters
RetailTech Startup
Professional Service
  • Startup founders
  • Venture capitals

Corporate Information

Highland Creek
February 13th, 2023
Ken Iida
1-20-1-1002 Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino, Tokyo Japan
M&A Brokerage
Market Entry Support
Asset Management
  • Strategic case development based on clients’ best interests, incorporating Highland Creek’s strategic capability and in-depth understanding of Japan and Asia market
  • Direct network with C-suite of large corporations and Managing Directors of professional firms to when executing the strategy
  • A group of past and current highly established, deeply networked, seasoned executives, “Highland Creek Executive Partners,” who are assigned on a case based on their strengths to deliver the result professionally
  • Network with partner firms across Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and North America to support clients’ investment, market entry or research needs
  • English operatable to cover Japan, and if wished, serving in other languages as well
SMBC Gotanda Branch (Bank Code: 0009, Branch Code: 653)
Account #: 8836828