-John Parker named executive vice president of Mazda
-Lewis Booth appointed president and chief operating officer of Ford Europe
Hiroshima, Japan - Mazda Motor Corporation announced today that Hisakazu Imaki has been named president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Imaki succeeds Lewis Booth, who has been appointed president and chief operating officer of Ford Europe. John Parker, formerly president of Ford Motor Company's ASEAN Operations, has been appointed executive vice president of Mazda. All changes were approved earlier today by the Mazda Board of Directors.
Kazuhide Watanabe, chairman of Mazda, said, "It is an honor to name Hisakazu Imaki president and CEO of Mazda. For nearly 40 years, Imaki-san has been a central part of Mazda and a key player in many areas. He was instrumental in the creation and launch of the Millennium Plan, and of many of the new products we have today. As president, I'm confident he will carry forward the excellent progress Mazda has made in the recent years. Today, Mazda is building some of its best products ever, and Imaki-san's efforts in this success should not go unnoticed. He embodies the spirit of Mazda."
Imaki, 60, joined the company in 1965 and has vast experience in the areas of manufacturing, production engineering and business logistics. He was first named a company general manager in 1988. In 1990, Imaki was named general manager of the Vehicle Engineering Department and, three years later, he became a director, serving as general manager of Production Engineering Division.
Imaki became a managing director when he was put in charge of Production Engineering, Manufacturing and Business Logistics in 1997. In March 2002, he was appointed a Mazda representative director and the company's sole executive vice president. At that point, Imaki was also named chief engineering & manufacturing officer in charge of R&D, Production, Quality Assurance and Business Logistics.
"I couldn't possibly leave Mazda in better hands," said Booth. "I have worked closely with Imaki-san and know his capabilities well. The leadership team at Mazda is very fortunate to have Imaki-san, and I know that Imaki-san has the full support of the entire Mazda team."
Parker, 55, is Mazda's executive vice president, assistant to president; in charge of Research & Development, Purchasing, Quality Assurance, Marketing, Sales and IT Solutions. He brings to Mazda vast experience in Ford's International Operations and has served as president of Ford's ASEAN Operations since January 2002. In this role, Parker was responsible for all aspects of Ford's operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. He also served on the Board of Directors of AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Mazda and Ford's joint venture assembly plant in Thailand.
Prior to being named president of the ASEAN operations, Parker was president of Ford Lio Ho in Taiwan for two years. Parker, born in the United Kingdom, joined Ford South Africa in 1965 and held a number of positions before his initial assignment in Taiwan in 1979, where he ultimately became director, Technical Operations. He was then assigned to Ford Australia in 1986 and advanced to vice president, Product Development. He also served as president of Ford India from 1994-98.
"The appointment of John Parker brings Mazda additional global experience, particularly in the areas of new and emerging markets," added Chairman Watanabe. "As we move forward with our product-led growth and move to become a stronger player in emerging markets in Asia, I am sure John's strong ties with the Ford organization and vast automotive experience will serve Mazda well."