Casio Chairman and CEO Kazuo Kashio passed on June 19, 2018 at the age of 89. The cause of death was pneumonia.
Kashio was the third eldest of the four brothers who founded Casio Computer in 1957. Their first product, the all-electric 14-A calculator, led to the release of the Casio Mini calculator in 1972, a product that brought electronic calculators into the mainstream.
Casio’s biggest claim to fame was Kashio’s own idea. The CEO looked at quartz watches in the 1980s and saw that they were delicate and easy to break. With a little extra outer cladding and some internal shock resistance systems, however, he was able to create a watch that could truly stand up to heavy wear. The first G-Shock, released in 1983, paved the way for truly rugged watches and the company recently celebrated the 100 millionth G-Shock sold last August.
The company, Kashio Manufacturing, began in 1947 with a unique product: a cigarette clip that let users smoke the last bit of each butt. In the 1970s, the Kashio family saw the move to electronic counting machines and brought some of the first portable and pocket calculators to market alongside the ultra popular F-91W LCD watch and the Cassiopeia PDA. The company also created the first LCD digital camera, the QV-10 and the popular Casiotone keyboards.
He is survived by his son, Kazuhiro Kashio, who is the current Casio president.