Japanese automobile company Honda Motor Co on Monday named a low-profile engineer as its new chief executive in an attempt to regain the lost consumer confidence in the wake of a slew of recalls that has shaken the company’s reputation for quality.
Takahiro Hachigo, a 55-year-old experienced, yet little known, engineer who joined the company in 1982, will take up the new roles in late-June after replacing 61-year-old Takanobu Ito.
Ito is stepping down from the top post after giving six years of service, when Honda witnessed many ups and downs like global financial crisis, natural calamities and the recent vehicle recalls that damaged the company’s overall performance.
“My job is to take the current strategy forward, and evolve it,” Hachigo said on his appointment to the top post.
Hachigo has worked with Honda across procurement, research and development, and manufacturing, with spells in the Britain, United States, and China, where he is currently working as a senior official at the R&D department. He had a major contribution on the prominent US Odyssey minivan and CR-V crossover.
Hachigo has skipped several ranks to be alleviated to the post of CEO.
According to Ito, it was the broad experience of Hachigo that made him the ideal candidate for the post of chief executive.
“I felt this was the right timing for us to boost efficiency and results globally,” Ito told mediapersons on Hachigo’s appointment as CEO.
This is the first time when Honda has appointed a non-director and someone without any heading experience of the firm’s R&D company for the post of chief executive official.