Sources close to the Japanese company reported to Reuters that Osamu Masuko, the President of Mitsubishi Motors Corp, who led the manufacturer since 2005, will step aside from its position and become Chairman.

The sources, which declined to be named because the decision is not yet public, said the current Chairman, Takashi Nishioka, will resign and Masuko’s place will be taken by Managing Director Tetsuro Aikawa as of April 1st.

The management changes come after Mitsubishi earlier this month fought to gain $2 billion mainly to buy back preferred shares issued to sister companies in the Mitsubishi group, which helped the struggling company in a bailout after an unsuccessful alliance with then-DaimlerChrysler and a debilitating recall cover-up scandal.

The Japanese automaker also aims to come on top a decade of slumping sales and a tenuous capital structure, which made it increasingly difficult to cope in the competitive global auto industry.

The Nikkei business daily was the one to first report the story today but the planned management reshuffle has been disputed by Mitsubishi Motors, who issued a statement commenting there are no planned changes at the top level of executives.

Also, Masuko, 64, has been praised and is respected by investors as it seeks to complete the grueling task of reviving the problem-plagued carmaker after it arrived here nine years ago from trading house affiliate Mitsubishi Corp.

Via Reuters


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