Denso Announces Organization Changes, Names North American CEO

Seiji Maeda
Seiji Maeda // Photo courtesy of Denso

Denso, a mobility supplier with its North American headquarters in Southfield, has announced changes to its North American executive personnel as part of organization updates made recently by the company’s global headquarters in Japan. Seiji Maeda has been named CEO of the company’s North American operations.

Maeda is also a senior director at Denso Corp. He has served as the head of Denso’s motor business unit in Japan, a role he began in 2018. From 2012-2017, he held positions as director of corporate planning, general manager of electronics business planning, and general manager of thermal systems business planning.

Before these roles, Maeda spent nearly five years at Denso’s thermal manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, 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.

Kenichiro Ito, a senior executive officer of Denso Corp. and the previous CEO of Denso’s North American operations, has returned to global headquarters, where he will lead the general administration and human resources center as chief human resources officer.

Denso has also 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. The division has been divided into two units:

  • Design and engineering – led by Pat Bassett, 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.
  • Research and development – led by Shinichiro Nakamura, senior vice president. The department will spearhead innovation efforts in connectivity and mobility research and development. In this position, Nakamura will primarily work on mid- and long-term product and technology development, collaborating closely with Denso engineering teams worldwide.

Kazuoki Matsugatani, a senior director, has returned to Denso’s global headquarters to lead global research and development, as well as the engineering development promotion division, the intellectual property division, the design division, the product design key technology research and development 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 research and development, compressor development, and engineering planning.

Rick Smith, previously the vice president of the thermal management unit, has moved to an advisory position.

Hiromasa Hakamada has been named president of Denso Manufacturing Mexico. Hakamada joined Denso in April 1991 and has served as director of production control.

Mitsuru Kato, former 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 changes in support of Reborn 21, a company initiative through which it plans to recommit to its foundational pillars of environmentally friendliness, improved safety, and a transition to a leaner and more robust corporate structure.

Denso is a $47.6 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. It has 200 facilities to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, and electron systems.

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