Mazda has announced a series of changes in the ranks of its most senior executives. And chief among them is the appointment of a new global president and CEO.
The role will now fall to one Akira Marumoto (pictured at podium). Mazda‘s current executive vice president has until now headed up the company’s operations in the Americas – including the United States.
60-year-old Marumoto-san takes the place currently occupied by Masamichi Kogai (pictured with concept car). He in turn moves up to the role of chairman. The previous board chairman Seita Kanai will step down from his position to make room for Kogai and Maramoto.
How Do You Say “Musical Chairs” in Japanese?
With Maramoto moving back to the head office in Japan, R&D chief Kiyoshi Fujiwara (pictured at desk) will take charge of the Americas region. At 58 years old, Fujiwara-san will continue directing the global company’s R&D operations. But he will pass the “cost innovation” baton to product-planning chief Ichiro Hirose. Fujiwara has been with Mazda since 1982, and has held a number of senior posts within the company over the years, including its European operations.
63-year-old Kogai has been with Mazda even longer, having joined the company in 1977. He took over as CEO from Takashi Yamanouchi in 2013.
The changes are all subject to ratification by the general meeting of shareholders. That’s set to take place on June 26, and will require approval at a subsequent meeting of the board of directors. These approvals, however, tend to be a matter of formality. So we don’t expect any major impediments to Marumoto’s ascension to the top post. Mazda ranks as the 16th largest automaker in the world, and the fifth largest in Japan behind Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Suzuki.