Current CEO Akira Marumoto, who began his role in 2018, will step down at that time, the company said. Marumoto will continue as an adviser, the Nikkei newspaper reported separately on Friday.
The management change comes as the company, which is 5.1% owned by auto giant Toyota Motor Corp., said in November it would increase spending on electrifying its vehicles and consider investing in battery production.
Mazda said that current representative director and president Kiyotaka Shobuda will remain in his position.
The 62-year-old will officially take over the company after the annual meeting in June. This is the first presidential change in the last five years. With a background in global sales and global marketing, Moro is considered well-versed in foreign trade. He also served as Mazda’s director of North American operations.
The choice of Moro is surprising because Mazda has had several executives with design or manufacturing in recent years. He is the first president in three generations who does not come from such a background.
Moro has a proven track record in marketing and is familiar with the US market, which accounts for about 30 percent of Mazda’s global car sales.
The Japanese automaker is looking to strengthen its brand awareness and create a more flexible management structure, with a major focus on the large American market as the electric car market there is growing rapidly.