Mazda North American Operations appointed its current president and chief executive officer Masahiro Moro to chairman and chief executive officer. The move was one of several leadership team changes MNAO announced that will be effective April 1, as the company “moves forward with its next-generation product,” said Mazda Motor Corp. president and chief executive officer Akira Marumoto, who is based in Hiroshima, Japan.
MNAO has also appointed current Mazda Motor Europe president and chief executive officer Jeffrey Guyton to president of MNAO, reporting to Moro. Additionally, MNAO will promote Masashi Otsuka to the new position of senior vice president of the Alabama business unit, reporting to Guyton.
In Moro’s expanded role as chairman and chief executive officer, he will oversee MNAO, Mazda Canada Inc. and Mazda Motor de Mexico.
“As Mazda moves forward with its next generation product, the company has made global leadership changes to further its path toward premium,” Marumoto said in a news release. “Mazda is a global business, and both North America and Europe are vital to its continued growth. Masahiro has been a tremendous leader in the U.S., and we are pleased to expand his role.”
New MNAO president Guyton will oversee all aspects of the company’s operations in the United States and Puerto Rico, including sales, marketing, parts and service, logistics, research and development, customer support and regional operations.
“The North American markets are crucial to Mazda’s success globally, and we have made significant investments here, particularly in a new joint venture production facility in Alabama,” Moro said. "(Guyton) will be instrumental in delivering significant business growth here in the U.S. During his 16 years at MME, Jeff successfully elevated both brand value and profit in Europe, and I know he will be a strong leader for MNAO as we continue on our journey to premium.”
Otsuka will lead the new operations in Alabama, where Mazda will manufacture its brand-new crossover SUV exclusive to the North American market. He will work with suppliers, handle logistics for the plant and manage quality assurance.
Moro noted that the company’s Alabama business unit is important to MNAO’s success.
“I believe Masashi Otsuka's outstanding business acumen will lead us to a successful launch of the plant and the all-new crossover SUV."
Current Mazda Motor Corp. general manager of the vehicle testing and research department Masaki Ueno, based in Hiroshima, Japan, will replace Otsuka. He will report to Guyton as the new vice president of research and development and design and will oversee management of that entire field.
“Masaki Ueno is a phenomenal engineer who has spent time previously in the U.S.,” Moro said. “He brings with him a wealth of valuable experience in safety technology.”
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