Takanobu Ito Appointed as Honda CEO, Still Director for R&D
That being said, Takanobu Ito, head of global automotive operations at Honda Motor Co., has been recently appointed as the automaker’s next president and CEO starting with June this year. Ito, age 55, is going to replace Takeo Fukui, age 64, who has occupied this position since 2003. The last one will still remain on Honda's board as adviser.
As for Takanobu Ito, he started to work for Honda in 1978 and was in charge with research and development. He has developed the all-aluminum unibody NSX sports car. Later, he was appointed executive vice president of Honda R&D Americas and after that, he returned to Japan as president and director of Honda R&D Co.
Apparently, even if he has just been named as Honda's new CEO, Ito will also be appointed resident and director of Honda R&D Co. once again in April, meaning that he will occupy the two positions at the same time.
This decision seems to be justified from at least two points of views. On the one hand, the Japanese car maker can cut costs by naming the same person for two important positions within the company.
On the other hand, Honda wanted to get rid of Fukui who announced in December last year his firm would retire from Formula One racing. This came in a moment when Honda was facing serious financial problems and Fukui decided to cut the funds for the the development of a new generation of cars. In addition, Fukui was against building a car factory in Russia.