TOKYO -- Honda Motor Co. said today it will remove the head of American Honda, Tetsuo Iwamura, from its board in a move that cuts the number of directors to 12 from 20 and aims to streamline decision making.
The changes will take effect in June, pending approval at that month's shareholder meeting. The management overhaul jettisons 9 executives from the board and adds one new member. Most of those executives leaving the board will shift to more hands-on positions as operating officers, the company said in a statement.
Iwamura, president of American Honda Motor Co., the Japanese brand's U.S. subsidiary, will stay in his position as head of American Honda and keep his current title of senior managing director at the parent company in Japan.
"It's a way to make decision making quicker," Honda spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto said. "Regional operations people can concentrate on their regional responsibilities better."
In addition to Iwamura, other regional chiefs on the board will be freed of board duties.
Three of the executives leaving the board in June, including current CFO Yoichi Hojo, will be sent to serve as presidents at Honda-affiliated companies or suppliers. Hojo will head up suspension-maker Showa Corp. He will be replaced as top financial boss by Fumihiko Ike, who will be promoted to senior managing director, from managing director.
Operating Officer Tsuneo Tanai, now COO in charge of Honda's automobile operations, will also leave the board and be appointed president of fuel-system supplier Keihin Corp.
Current President Takanobu Ito will assume Tanai's role as direct head of the automobile unit. Ito also gets the title of CEO, a new position for Honda Motor Co.
Among the changes, Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo will fill the now vacant position of chairman. That spot has been empty since June 2010, when Satoshi Aoki retired.