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DENSO Selects New North American CEO, Announces Organization Changes

Leadership moves, organization restructuring increases DENSO’s flexibility and quickens decision-making

DENSO, a leading mobility supplier, announced changes to its North American executive personnel as part of organizational updates made recently by the company’s global headquarters in Japan.

New North American CEO

DENSO has named Seiji Maeda CEO of DENSO’s North American operations. He also is a senior director at DENSO Corporation.

Prior to this post, Maeda was the head of DENSO’s Motor Business Unit in Japan, a role he began in 2018. From 2012-2017, he held such positions as director of Corporate Planning, general manager of Electronics Business Planning and general manager of Thermal Systems Business Planning. Before those roles, Maeda spent nearly five years at DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, Michigan, working in the Business Planning division. He first joined DENSO as part of the Thermal Systems Business Planning division at the global headquarters after graduating from Nagoya University with a bachelor’s degree in law.

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Kenichiro Ito, a senior executive officer of DENSO Corporation and the previous CEO of DENSO’s North American operations, has returned to the company’s global headquarters, where he will lead the General Administration and Human Resources Center as its chief human resources officer. Ito helmed DENSO’s North American operations for nearly five years, playing a key role in its implementation of DENSO’s Second Founding, the company’s strategy to enrich mobility and meet the automotive industry’s evolving needs.

North American Engineering Restructures

DENSO has reorganized its North American Engineering Division to strengthen the group’s support of DENSO’s manufacturing operations and customers, as well as increase the company’s competitiveness in Research and Development (R&D). The division has been divided into two units:

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  • Design and Engineering – Led by Pat Bassett, a senior vice president, the department will support DENSO’s business units and manufacturing activities by standardizing approaches and resources across the region, helping increase organizational efficiency.
  • R&D—Led by Shinichiro Nakamura, a senior vice president, the department will spearhead innovation efforts in connectivity and mobility R&D. In this position, Nakamura will primarily work on mid- and long-term product and technology development, collaborating closely with DENSO engineering teams worldwide.

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Kazuoki Matsugatani, a senior director, has returned to DENSO’s global headquarters, to lead Global R&D, as well as the Engineering Development Promotion Division, the Intellectual Property Division, the Design Division, the Product Design Key Technology R&D Division and serve as Deputy Head of the IT Digital Center.

Sergio Pujols has been promoted to vice president of the Thermal Management Unit in North America, overseeing engine cooling module and heat pump application design, thermal management R&D, compressor development and engineering planning.

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Rick Smith, previously the vice president of the Thermal Management Unit, has moved to an advisory position.

DENSO Manufacturing Mexico has welcomed a new president, Hiromasa Hakamada. Hakamada joined DENSO in April 1991 and has served as director of Production Control.

Mitsuru Kato, the previous president of the location, has returned to DENSO’s global headquarters, where he has been promoted to senior director and joined the CEO Division.

DENSO has made all of these changes in support of Reborn 21, the company initiative to revolutionize its operations, provide new value to society and customers, and reaffirm its focus on quality. By the end of March 2021, DENSO will use this strategy to recommit to its foundational pillars of “green” (environmentally friendly) and “peace of mind” (safer world for all) and transition to a leaner and more robust corporate structure.

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