Takata CEO close to an exit, sources say image

The biggest recall of the automotive industry is forcing Takata to make some top management changes, preparing also the ground for the exit of its CEO.

The Japanese supplier is responsible for the largest automotive recall in history, a scandal that is affecting nearly 50 million vehicles. Takata has been under fire for almost two years over the defective airbags that could explode and send deadly shrapnel inside the car. The number of affected vehicles is lately growing on a weekly basis and the company said on Tuesday that an 11th death could be linked to a faulty inflator. It seems the crisis will trigger some top management changes, as two people close to the Japanese airbag maker said that it was preparing the ground for the exit of its CEO, Shigehisa Takada. “There are plans for management reforms,” said one of the individuals, adding this would involve laying the groundwork for the departure of Takada, the grandson of the group’s founder, and other executives.

These reforms will be presented as part of the company’s business plans at a meeting with automakers on Friday. The get-together will also allow Takata to test the carmakers’ reaction to the possibility of a financial support, according to another person familiar with the plan.

Another source said Takada could take responsibility during the meeting on Friday for the way the company handled the airbag scandal, potentially a first step towards his departure. The pressure on Takata may increase even further when the Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute reports on its investigation into the causes of such deadly airbags failures, an inquiry that was commissioned by Takata. The results are to be presented to the board in the coming week, the Japanese media have reported.

Via Reuters