Takata Corp. -- the Japanese supplier at the center of a global airbag recall scandal -- named a new general counsel for its North American operations today.
Bruce Angiolillo, a longtime partner at the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP law firm in New York, will assume the role at TK Holdings Inc. effective Thursday.
Angiolillo will oversee all regulatory and legal matters for the supplier’s North American subsidiary in suburban Detroit, the company said in a press release.
Angiolillo replaces Don Schiemann, who is retiring on Dec. 31 but will remain with Takata as an advisor.
The move comes amid harsh criticism from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after the supplier refused earlier this month to expand a recall of driver-side airbags by 8 million units.
More than 24 million vehicles equipped with Takata airbags have been recalled by 12 automakers since 2008. The recalls stem from airbags that explode, causing injuries to passengers and drivers from flying shrapnel.
The faulty airbags have been linked to at least five deaths.
Stefan Stocker, president and COO of Takata, stepped down from his position Wednesday. Stocker will remain with the company as a board member; CEO Shigehisa Takada has reassumed the president role.
Angiolillo will work with NHTSA to resolve the airbag issue, he said.
“I’m honored to have been appointed to this important role at a time when Takata is clearly facing some challenges, but also has significant opportunities ahead of it to regain the full confidence of the public and its customers,” he said. “I am eager to help identify and pursue solutions that are in the best interests of the driving public and are fully aligned with our customers and regulators.”
At Simpson Thacher, Angiolillo led the firm’s securities litigation practice. He received a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts and a law degree from Columbia Law School in New York.
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