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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Mazda's Imaki announces retirement

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Mazda's Imaki announces retirement

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Mazda Motor Corp. announced today that Chairman Hisakazu Imaki is retiring after more than 45 years with the company.

President and CEO Takashi Yamanouchi has been nominated to replace him as head of the company's managing board, in addition to retaining his current responsibilities.

"I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Imaki for his tremendous contribution and service to the company," Yamanouchi said, praising Imaki for his contributions to Mazda's success. "I have asked him to offer advice from a broader perspective as 'supreme executive advisor.' "

The moves need to be approved by the company's shareholders at their upcoming annual meeting in June.

Imaki was the first Japanese head of Mazda after a series of Ford executives, replacing Lewis Booth as CEO. Under his leadership, the company focused on the U.S. market -- an ultimately successful strategy that boosted Mazda's sales and profits.

The Dearborn automaker sold its controlling stake in Mazda in 2008, but remains the company's largest shareholder.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100512/AUTO01/5120386/1148/auto01/Mazda-s-Imaki-announces-retirement#ixzz0nivxT3Rj

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