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February 18, 2021

Engine Guy Set to Become Honda's Next CEO?

Honda Motor Co., will be naming a new CEO as early as the end of this week, if reports from Reuters are true.

The Japanese carmaker will name Toshihiro Mibe, head of the its R&D arm to replace Takahiro Hachigo (see lead photo) who has held the CEO role for six years.

Mibe joined Honda in 1987, taking part in engine development as well as managing the company’s powertrain and drivetrain businesses. His career includes an operating officer stint in 2014, and he is currently also in charge of intellectual property and standardization.

After becoming Honda R&D president in 2019, he and Hachigo pushed forward structural reform at the research unit, with electrification in mind.

Hachigo became CEO in 2015, a rare appointment for Honda considering he had not headed the R&D arm as is typical for Honda CEOs. He spearheaded restructuring plans to simplify and improve efficiency in developing cars, seeking ways to cut model variations and production costs.

During his tenure, the automaker consolidated vehicle and motorcycle development operations, while shifting the research unit’s focus to new mobility and robotics.

In a statement, Honda is denying reports that it has decided to change its CEO.

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