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May 7, 2009
DETROIT, (May 6, 2009) -- Recognized as a great leader and innovator, Jim O'Sullivan, President and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation, will be named 2009 Automotive Executive of the Year at a ceremony today in Detroit.
The award recognizes excellence in automotive leadership, honoring those individuals with "staying power" who emerge from the crowd as survivors, thinkers and doers. The Automotive Executive of the year Award nominating committee is comprised of automotive industry media, various industry analysts, and automotive supplier CEOs.
Past winners include Carroll Shelby, Henry Ford II, Bill Ford, Jr., Jim Press, Roger Smith, Lee Iacocca, John DeLorean and former Mazda Motor Corporation President Kenichi Yamamoto.
"As a native Detroiter with a strong background in the actual sales process, coupled with a lean inventory, a solid partnership with JP Morgan Chase, and a great market offering in the MAZDA3, Jim is the ideal candidate for the 2009 Automotive Executive of the Year," said Robert Djurovic, executive director of the Automotive Executive of the Year award program.
In his position at Mazda, O'Sullivan is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's U.S., Canadian, Mexican, and Puerto Rican operations, including sales, marketing, parts and service, logistics, communications, customer support, and regional operations. O'Sullivan was appointed president and CEO in April 2003.
Characteristically modest, O'Sullivan said, "As the so-called captain of the ship, eyes are often fixed on me. But if it weren't for the executive teams in the U.S., Canada and Mexico who continually perform beyond expectation, the ship wouldn't sail...I can't paddle alone. At a small car company such as ours, everybody must collectively work a little harder, do a little more and try to be a little smarter. I'm privileged to work with such a great group of people."
Despite a tough economy and industry, Mazda's outlook in the market is quite positive. Unlike many competitors, the company has not cut spending for research and development or design. Over the past 18 months, Mazda has either fully renewed or updated its entire showroom of vehicles, and over the next 18 months, it intends to introduce six all-new or heavily revised vehicles around the world.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through more than 850 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.