OSAKA, JapanToyo Tire & Rubber Co. has nominated industry outsider Katsumi Komaguchi to be the company's chairman and director, succeeding Akira Nobuki, who resigned July 1 in the wake of a scandal involving non-compliant earthquake-proof seismic isolation rubber bearings sold in Japan.
Toyo also promoted Takashi Shimizu, currently a director with multiple tire business unit responsibilities, to be president and representative director, succeeding Takuji Yamamoto.
Messrs. Nobuki and Yamamoto had been in their respective postions only since October 2014.
The new appointments are subject to approval by shareholders at an extraordinary shareholders meeting scheduled for Nov. 12, Toyo said.
Mr. Komaguchi, 64, most recently was a representative director and vice chairman for Kyocera Document Solutions Inc., positions he resigned Sept. 19 after 29 years with Kyocera Corp. He will join Toyo in mid-October as an adviser and following approval will become the chairman of the board.
Toyo's board of directors described Mr. Komaguchi as an individual recognized for having successfully restructured a manufacturing company, and will draw on his unique management philosophy to bring about change of the corporate culture. He will support the next president in order to direct a rebirth of the company.
Similarly, the board lauded Mr. Shimizu, 54, as an executive with a thorough understanding of the global tire business. With his considerable resolve, determination, management skills and constitution, the board of directors believes he can lead the company through its current challenges.
He has been with Toyo since 1985.
Mr. Nobuki resigned July 1 along with seven other corporate officers or advisers who stepped down, retired or were demoted as a result of the isolation bearings controversyin which Toyo acknowledged selling non-compliant earthquake-proof rubber shock absorbers in Japan over nearly two decades starting in 1996.
Mr. Yamamoto was allowed to stay in his position until a successor was named.
The products were certified for quality by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure Transport and Tourism, but since were found not to have conformed to performance standards. Toyo indicated in separate reports that 145 buildings were affected.
Mr. Shimizu's duties as a senior corporate officer include responsibilities covering tire planning division, tire business group and North America business unit, among others, Toyo said.
Toyo's board also made the following promotions to director:
c Kiochi Ono, currently senior corporate officer in charge of tire R&D;
c Masaji Ishino, currently senior corporate officer in charge of DriverTech business; and
c Tetsuo Tatara, currently corporate officer for production engineering.
The company also announced that Ken Morita will become an outside director, joining the firm from Panasonic Corp.
Former director Sadao Ichihara was named senior corporate officer for the seismic isolation rubber division, while outgoing president Mr. Yamamoto will start as special adviser for both the tire business and seismic isolation rubber divisions as of November.
Toyo earlier this year took a $102 million provision to cover estimated costs related to the earthquake scandal. This caused the firm to suffer a net loss of $25.7 million for the quarter.