Honda Motor replaces CEO amid industry crisis

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Honda Motor Co. said Monday that it would replace its president in June, turning to a 55-year-old engineer to lead Japan's second largest automaker through the deepening auto industry crisis.


The management shake-up marks the end of the six-year leadership of Takeo Fukui, 64, who is retiring having won plaudits for keeping Honda in profit at a time when other major Japanese automakers are into the red.

Senior managing director Takanobu Ito, who currently oversees Honda's automobile operations, will take over as president and chief executive at a crucial time as car sales slump because of the global economic downturn.

Fukui, who will remain an advisor to Honda, said he had initially hesitated at handing over the reins in the midst of the auto industry crisis.

"But when I thought of the company's growth potential after overcoming these tough times, I decided it was better to make the change now rather than later," he told a news conference.

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