"It's 4 am. My body's trembling. I'm going to die." Matsuri Takahashi Tweeted before her suicide.

Leaping to her death from the company dormitory the suicide of employee Matsuri Takahasi, has led to the disgrace of Dentsu, the Japanese advertising Goliath.Effective January the company’s president and CEO, Tadashi Ishil, will resign his position.


Christmas Day one year ago, Matsuri Takahashi took her life. Investigators discovered, in the month prior to her suicide, she worked 105 hours of overtime and excessively long hours.

Dentsu and other companies have been the focus of Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare inquiries. This case has now been transferred to prosecutors for criminal proceedings.

Not the first

Suicide warnings began in 1991, Ichiro Oshima, a 24-year-old Dentsu employee, killed himself. The Guardian reports, “Oshima had not had a day off for 17 months and was sleeping for less than two hours a night before his death.” CNN Money reports, Takahashi’s social media post “I want to die.” “I’m physically and mentally shattered.” Furthermore, Dentsu’s practices were documented in an October white paper.


Dentsu operates in 140 countries and employs 47,000 people. A culture of mandatory overtime, fear of punishment, and uncertainty of immediate terminations is the fuel. Work weeks of 80 hours, 13 hour days, and six days a week for months are commonplace. Workday expectations are to put the company first in all things.

Paradigm shift

Technology based evidence including Glassdoor, document high employee turnover, candid negative company digital media reviews, and damaging corporate reputations.

This push back is resulting in higher revenue losses and slower company growth and sales. Journal of Medicine Report on attrition describes that businesses are relearning the value of high retention rates of a trained, experienced workforce. The backbone of any organization is the commitment that comes when employees have a vested interest and are collaboratively engaged.

The best leaders make better decisions about priorities.

CNN reports, Ishii said at a press conference. "I offer a sincere apology to the bereaved family and everyone in society."

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