A new era of downsizing has dawned in Japan -- in the boardroom.
Honda and Toyota are slashing the number of board members in an effort to streamline decision making and put executives in more hands-on positions.
It's a big change for consensus-driven corporate Japan, where boardrooms often are crowded with dozens of executives at the top tier of management.
Honda moved first, announcing plans Feb. 22 to cut its board to 12 members in June, from 20. The change removes former directors with regional oversight from the board so they can concentrate on their local markets without being distracted by board meetings back home.
Among those giving up a position on Honda's board will be Tetsuo Iwamura, president of American Honda Motor Co., the Japanese brand's U.S. subsidiary.
Similar changes are under way at Toyota, which will cut its board to as few as 10 members, from 27, local media report. Details could come March 9 with the company's mid-term business plan.The overhaul would be Toyota's first since it slashed the board to 27 members, from 58 eight years ago.