Norimasa Furuta, current senior managing director of Mazda Motor Corp., was named president at a regular meeting of the board in Hiroshima, Japan. Furuta succeeds Kenichi Yamamoto, who becomes chairman.
Moriyuki Watanabe, current chairman, becomes advertising director.
Yamamoto, who has been president of Mazda since November, 1984, has a back ailment that he says will require lengthy medical treatment to ensure complete recovery. Mazda said Yamamoto decided to resign as president because of the difficulty he would have faced leading the firm while his health is impaired.
While president, Yamamoto led Mazda's drive to strengthen its position in the U.S. market, including the opening of a manufacturing plant in Rancho Dominguez. Furuta worked for the Ministry of International Trade and Industry for 29 years and then joined the Electric Power Development Co. after retiring from MITI. He joined Mazda in 1985 as an adviser, became senior managing director in charge of the business research division in January, 1986, and took charge of the corporate communications division in January, 1987.