Guyton, 54, will succeed Masahiro Moro, who will assume a newly created global position of chief communications officer at Mazda's headquarters in Hiroshima, Japan.
Mazda has been gaining traction in the U.S. as of late, eking out a slight sales increase for 2020 despite the market disruption of the pandemic. Lifted by sales of fresh crossovers and the establishment of an in-house finance arm, the automaker's U.S. market share rose to 1.9 percent last year from 1.6 percent in 2019.
As CEO of Mazda North American Operations in Irvine, Calif., Guyton will assume oversight of an expanding business. In addition to managing U.S. sales and marketing, he will be responsible for Mazda Canada Inc., based in Toronto; Mazda Colombia, based in Bogota; and Mazda Motors de Mexico, based in Mexico City.
He will also have responsibility for Mazda's U.S. manufacturing at a time of significant change. In addition to the company's small-vehicle production base in Salamanca, Mexico, Mazda is on schedule to open an assembly operation in Huntsville, Ala., this year that is a joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp.
That $2.3 billion plant will produce a new, not-yet-identified Mazda crossover designed for the North American market while also producing vehicles for Toyota.
Guyton, with degrees from Ohio's Wittenberg University and the University of Michigan, began his career with Ford Motor Co. in 1991 as a financial analyst in Hiroshima, at a time when Ford controlled the Japanese automaker. He moved to Mazda in 2000 as general manager of the company's cost planning department in Hiroshima.