Honda appointed a woman to its board for the first time and gave a major promotion to a foreigner in signs the automaker wants to change perceptions of a hidebound corporate culture.
Technology expert Hideko Kunii, 66, will join the board, and Issao Mizoguchi, a Brazilian of Japanese ancestry, who has worked with Honda’s South American operations for nearly 30 years, has been appointed operating officer, Honda Motor Co. said Monday. The appointments need shareholder approval at a meeting set for June.
Companies have come under fire within Japan for not promoting anyone other than Japanese men. Putting women in leadership positions is a pillar of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies to revive the Japanese economy.
Toyota has a foreigner on its board, American Mark Hogan, formerly of General Motors Co., but has yet to tap a woman.