Honda Motor chief executive officer Takanobu Ito has been criticized for his drive to disrupt the Japanese automaker’s traditional way of sourcing parts and technologies but nevertheless he will seek another two-year term.
The decision to fight for another mandate has been reported to Reuters by four people with direct knowledge of the situation, adding that Ito has already resisted moves that called for his resignation. He became the company’s chief executive back in 2009 and during the past three years has moved to dismantle Honda’s decades-old, tightly knit supply chain, seeking cost reductions and the discovery of new cutting-edge technologies. Naturally, the drive unsettled numerous long-term supply chain partners, along with former Honda bosses – with pressure on Ito building up lately after some high-cost recalls of new products over quality problems. “Honda’s group suppliers were thrown into disarray by Ito’s actions,” comments one former Honda chief.
The executive seems determined to see his plans come through, though, addressing the “elephant” in the room during recent meetings with some former Honda chiefs, according to two of the sources. “Ito is determined to keep going as CEO,” said one individual, a senior Honda executive in the 1980s. One of the chief executive’s moves to shake up research and development strategies was the focus on vehicle electrification – deciding to tap global suppliers such as Robert Bosch, Continental, TRW or even Denso – which is in part owned by rival automaker Toyota. But the recent onslaught of recalls over new products are a point in the critics’ favor, which contend Ito has rushed things too much in his drive to reform the Japanese automaker.