|April 19, 2002|
Mark Fields to Hand over to Lewis Booth as Mazda President in Summer
| Hiroshima, 19 April 2002 - Mazda Motor Corporation today announced plans
to elect Lewis Booth as company President this summer. Current President Mark
Fields will conduct a two-month hand over and then step down in the summer after
nearly four years with Mazda. He will move on to a new position as Ford Motor
Company group vice president, Premier Automotive Group. The Mazda management change
will be subject to approval at the annual shareholder meeting in June and will
be effective thereafter.
In the coming months, Booth will work closely alongside Fields as part of the management team to ensure a smooth transition of the presidency and the continuity of Mazda's business strategy. The entire management remains committed to the Millennium Plan and its full implementation, including Mazda's revitalized brand image and the introduction of a new generation of cars starting with the all-new Mazda Atenza (Mazda6) next month in Japan.
Booth joined Mazda earlier this year as Senior Advisor in charge of corporate strategy. From January 2000 he was President, Ford Asia Pacific, Africa and Technical Staffs where he had operational responsibility for South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India and for developing Ford's strategy in the Asia-Pacific region.
Chairman of Mazda, Kazuhide Watanabe said, "Lewis Booth has an extensive and truly global track record in the auto industry. His experience spans all major car markets and ranges from R&D through manufacturing and strategic business planning. Once in post, he will continue and build on Mazda's exciting momentum - through our Millennium Plan we are delivering a financial recovery and we are just starting to deliver a new generation of products, that will reposition our company in the market place."
Booth was Group Managing Director of the South Africa Motor Corporation (SAMCOR), a position he held from July 1997. At that time, Ford had a 45% equity in SAMCOR, which assembled Ford and Mazda vehicles in South Africa. Subsequently, the SAMCOR joint venture was dissolved and Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa was established.
Booth joined Ford in 1978 as a financial analysis coordinator with Product Development, Ford of Europe. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Booth held a series of management positions in Ford of Europe in Britain and in Germany in Finance Staff, Truck Operations, Product Development, Manufacturing, and Sales.
In 1992, he moved to the United States where he worked for Finance Staff in Dearborn. From 1993 to 1996, Booth held a variety of positions in Car Product Development, Body & Assembly, Vehicle Operations and the Manufacturing Business Office for Ford Automotive Operations before accepting the position of Group Managing Director at SAMCOR in South Africa.
Born in Liverpool, England on November 7, 1948, Booth earned a bachelor of engineering degree in mechanical engineering, with honors, in 1970 from Liverpool University and subsequently qualified as a chartered management accountant.
Congratulating Mark Fields, Chairman Watanabe added, "Mark Fields is responsible for a significant transformation at Mazda. Our forecast record financial turnaround in 2001 is tribute to his leadership. His new position with Ford Motor Company is also a clear acknowledgement of his achievements. He has my personal thanks for his remarkable contribution to Mazda and we wish him great success in the future."
Mark Fields joined Mazda in August 1998. After heading Sales and Marketing operations, he was appointed Representative Director and President in December 1999. He led the drive to strengthen and create global consistency in Mazda's brand image. He also led the management team development of Mazda's Millennium Plan, the company's mid-term business plan (announced November 2000) designed to build a stronger company that is differentiated in the marketplace and delivers sustainable, profitable growth in the future through strong product lineups and a stable financial foundation.
Positive results from the plan to date include:
Repositioning and revitalizing Mazda as a globally consistent Japanese car manufacturer and marketer, with a redefined brand and product DNA and design philosophy.
Significantly improved first-half results for the fiscal year 2001 (Apr. 2001 - Sep. 2001) alongside a revised full-year forecast to deliver a year on year improvement in net profit of $1.2 billion.
The global unveil of at Tokyo Motor Show 2001 of the all-new midsize Mazda Atenza (Mazda6), the first of our new generation of cars, that fully embody the company's revitalized brand and product DNA, alongside the production design model of the unique RX-8, that heralds the return of the rotary engine in a new market proposition - a four-door sports car.
Born in 1961, Fields graduated from Rutgers University (USA) in May 1983 with a degree in Economics and from Harvard Graduate School of Business (USA) in June 1989 with a Master of Business Administration (MBA).