Careers at Canon


Canon is a publicly-listed, multinational electronics manufacturer specialising in imaging, optical products and office multifunction devices, including cameras, video cameras, photocopiers and printers.


Canon’s operations can be traced back to the establishment of its predecessor company Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in 1933, which produced Japan's first 35 mm focal-plane-shutter camera in 1934. The Canon trademark was registered a year later and in 1937 Precision Optical Industry Co, which has since developed into Canon, was incorporated. The Company first took on the Canon name in 1947 when it rebranded as Canon Cameras, ultimately taking on its current name in 1969.

Throughout the 20th Century Canon expanded its interests internationally, establishing subsidiary offices in the US and Europe, and developed a popular range of cameras, establishing itself as market leader. The Company also launched the world’s first inkjet printer in 1985 and diversified its product portfolio to include copiers, scanners and other office equipment.

Canon is now one of the largest companies in the world, ranked at 236 in the Fortune 500 list and 84 in Forbes Magazine’s list of ‘The World’s Most Valuable Brands’. The Company has a primary listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and has listed American Depository Receipts on the New York Stock Exchange since 2000. Its current market capitalisation is $61.24 billion.

Business model of Canon

Customer Segments

Canon’s principal customers are retail and distribution companies, businesses – including small and medium-sized businesses, professional print organisations, large commercial enterprises and government bodies – and consumers, who can access products through the Company’s online store and retail network. Canon also recently launched a range of cinematography imaging products, which will be reportedly targeted primarily at broadcast organisations and movie studios. The Company’s largest markets for sales are in Japan, the US and Europe, where its customers have included Bank of Valetta and Coca Cola.

Canon also targets businesses directly with its suite of business services, including printing management and outsourcing. The Company has provided business services to companies across a range of sectors, including insurance provider AEGON, accountancy firm Armstrong Watson, the British Library, chemicals company Borealis and stationer Staples. Under its European Canon Professional Services programme the Company provides free support services to Canon professional photographers and filmmakers.

Value Propositions

Canon’s greatest value to consumers is the reputation of its brand and the quality and reliability of its products. The Company is constantly researching innovative tool for its products so that its products remain popular and well-regarded, and the Company provides ongoing technical support and maintenance services.


Information regarding Canon, its products and its services is available at the Company’s website at Canon’s products are available for sale via its online store, as well as through the Company’s network of retail outlets. The Company also sells products via its distribution and retails customers and through its worldwide network of authorised resellers. Large enterprises, organisations and government bodies can purchase large orders of Canon products by contacting the Company’s sales team directly. Similarly, customers of Canon’s business services can contact secure service contracts via Canon representatives.

Customer Relationships

Consumers can purchase Canon products on a self-service basis from the Company’s online store, as well as through the Company’s network of retail outlets. Customers that buy products in-store can receive greater personal care, receiving advice and guidance from the Company’s in-store sales representatives. Large business customers and Canon’s business service clients require greater interaction with members of the Canon sales and marketing team, with contracts negotiated directly. Canon provides ongoing support to its customers, both directly and through its partners.

It also supplies a range of support resources through its website, including self-help guides, service and repair assistance, manuals, and online technical assistance. Customers can also interact directly with Canon representatives in their various retail outlets and through the Company’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts.

Key Activities

Canon manufactures and sells imaging, optical and multi-functional office equipment, including cameras, printers, copiers and scanners to retailers, distributors, businesses and consumers. The sale of these products is frequently supported by the provision of paid-for maintenance services contracts.

The Company also provides a range of business services, including managed print services, outsourcing, information management, and marketing and communication services. Canon also manages a network of accredited resale and service partners, which are certified to provide support, outsourcing and maintenance services to Canon customers on the Company’s behalf.

Key Partners

Canon partners with a variety of companies through its Canon Partner Channel, authorising companies to sell, service and provide support services relating to Canon products worldwide. These partners principally comprise small and medium-sized local or regional operators. Partners can be authorised resellers or can obtain certifications across a range of more technical services, including managed printing services, office solutions, advanced scanning solutions, advanced office imaging, imaging supplies, network camera solutions and information management.

In return Canon partners receive help-desk support, tools, resources, training and Among Canon’s partners are Condor Office Solutions, Pro Print Solutions, Stanford Marsh Group, Hussey Knights, Mercury Business Supplies and Think Office Technologies.

Key Resources

Canon’s key resources are its products, its manufacturing facilities, its sales network, and its personnel. The Company’s products use a range of patented proprietary technologies. In 2015 Canon was ranked third in a list of top US patent holders only behind IBM and Samsung Electronics, with 4,134 individual patents. The Company’s distributions and supply networks are also key to the Company’s business model.

Cost Structure

Canon’s principal costs relate to its research and development activities, manufacturing activities – including operation of production facilities and purchase of supplies, logistics and transit operations, and operation of an international network of retail outlets. In 2015 research and development costs alone amounted to JPY 328.5 billion (approximately $3 billion).

Revenue Streams

In 2015 Canon generated more than JPY 3.8 trillion (approximately $34.5 billion) in annual revenue. Its principal revenue stream continues to be its domestic and international manufacture and sale of optical, imaging and multi-functional office equipment products, including digital cameras, digital copiers, laser printers, semiconductor lithography equipment and FPD lithography equipment, flash units, scanners, camcorders and computers. Additionally, Canon has recently launched a range of cinematography imaging products. The Company’s largest product segment in terms of revenue is its multifunctional copier division.

Canon also provides services related to its products under various contractual agreements, and provides separately-priced product maintenance contracts for which customers pay a base fee plus a variable amount based on usage. These maintenance services are often bundled into sales of products. Canon’s product revenue is supplemented by revenue generated through the provision of various business services, including managed print services, outsourcing services, and marketing and communication services.

Our team

Fujio Mitarai,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

info: Fujio has served as Canon’s Chief Executive Officer since 1995. He is a long-serving Canon employee, having first joined the Company in 1961 as an accountant. Mitarai spent the majority of his early Canon career in the US where he was tasked with developing the Company’s camera business. He was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Canon USA in 1979, and has been credited with launching a popular range of cameras in the US that allowed amateur photographers to take high quality pictures. Mitarai returned to Japan in 1989 to serve as Senior Managing Director, his last role before being appointed Chief Executive Officer.

Masaya Maeda,
President and Chief Operating Officer

info: Masaya has served as Canon’s President and Chief Operating Officer since March 2016, replacing current Chairman Mitarai in his role as President. He has also served as an external director at manufacturing company Ohara since 2008 and has been a representative director of Canon since 2007. Maeda first joined the Company in 1975. He has since held a number of management and executive roles within the Canon Group, including Chief Executive of Image Communications Products, General Manager of Image Communication Business and Managing Director.

Toshizo Tanaka,
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

info: Toshizo has served as Canon’s Chief Financial officer since 2008 and has been an Executive Vice President at the Company since 2007. He has also been a representative director of Canon since 1995 and has been a board member at Axis Communications since 2015. Since joining Canon in 1964, Tanaka has held a number of accounting, finance and executive roles within the Company, including Senior General Manager of External Relations & Corporate Communications, Group Executive of Human Resources Management & Organization, Group Executive of Finance, and Deputy Group Executive of Finance and Accounting.