Who Is the CEO of Mazda?
Japanese automaker Mazda is known for its reliable and luxury-adjacent vehicles. The company may not be in the same sales league as Toyota and Ford, but it still does well. The company’s management recently underwent a change, with a new CEO taking over the reins. So, who is the CEO of Mazda?
Background on Mazda and CEO Masahiro Moro
Mazda was founded by Jujiro Matsuda in 1920, naming it Toyo Cork Kogyo. The company started as a cork-making factory but began producing vehicles in 1931 after changing its name to Toyo Kogyo Co Ltd in 1927. The name Mazda comes from the Zoroastrian god of harmony, intelligence, and wisdom.
The automaker has become one of the largest car manufacturers in Japan and the world. It has alliances with giant car companies like Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Suzuki, and Isuzu. Masahiro Moro, Mazda’s new CEO, graduated from Waseda University in Japan and landed a job at Mazda. His extensive experience and dedication to the brand have helped make Moro a prominent figure in the automotive arena.
Masahiro Moro’s career
Moro joined the company in 1983 and has been with Mazda for 40 years, steadily climbing the corporate ladder. The 62-year-old takes over from previous CEO and president Akira Marumoto, who held on to the role for five years from 2018 to 2023. Marumoto remains on as an adviser. Moro has held various pivotal positions in Mazda in his four decades working with the company.
One of the pivotal roles Moro held within the company was serving as Chairman and CEO of North American Operations, taking over from Jim O’Sullivan on December 31, 2015. Before the role, Moro was the former head of the global sales and marketing division for four years.
After serving as CEO of North American Operations, Moro was promoted to the newly created position within the company’s headquarters in Japan. He was named Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer in May 2021, a role he held until the announcement of his promotion to global CEO.
“The North American markets are crucial to Mazda’s global success, and we have made significant investments to grow our business in the region,” the 62-year-old said. Moro’s dedication to the company and leadership results might have influenced the decision to name him President and CEO of Mazda.
Masahiro Moro’s appointment comes at a crucial time for Mazda
Moro’s appointment as CEO couldn’t have come at a better time. During his tenure as CEO of North American Operations, Mazda made pivotal strides in the automotive industry and expanded its American market share. The new leadership shakeup in Mazda comes at a time when the brand invested ¥1.5 trillion, equivalent to $11.28 billion, in November 2022 to increase its electric vehicle lineup.
“Our business in the United States is currently growing very strongly,” the newly appointed CEO said during a conference in Hiroshima. Moro hopes the automaker will expand its U.S. market by upgrading dealer stores. Mazda currently has around 360 dealer stores across the country. Moro plans to have each dealership sell 1,000 cars annually at first; if it succeeds, he hopes to increase the number to 1,200 units.
Mazda has been facing increased competition in China and the US, with the global chip shortage slowing down its vehicle production. However, the company has tried to get back on its feet, selling 1.25 million vehicles in the year ending March 2022, although it still has a long way to go. Toyota owns 5.1% of the Japanese automaker, and with the auto giant’s help, Mazda intends to strengthen its position in the U.S. market.