LOS ANGELES -- Mazda has reassigned U.S. chief Robert Davis to a new role as part of a leadership shuffle at the automaker's North American division, following the brand's 6.7 percent decline in U.S. sales last year.
Davis, 53, a Mazda veteran who became senior vice president of U.S. operations in 2011, was named senior vice president of special assignments, a new position, where he'll oversee recall compliance, cybersecurity, and corporate compliance and legislation, while also serving as a mentor to younger executives.
Mazda didn't name a successor to Davis, but the company plans to fill the post, a Mazda spokesman told Automotive News.
Elsewhere in the executive suite, Tom Donnelly, 51, takes over as vice president of sales and retail operations from Ron Stettner, 50, who is leaving "to pursue other opportunities," Mazda said. Kara Hudson, 49, formerly director of training, will replace Donnelly as general manager of the west division.
The changes, announced Thursday, Jan. 26, to employees and Mazda's National Dealer Advisory Council, took effect immediately.
"In order to seize more than our fair share of this market shift, we are making these changes to our management team in order to mentor new leaders and give those leaders a chance to play a part in the next chapter of the company's success in the U.S.," Masahiro Moro, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, said.
Mazda's U.S. market share stood at 1.7 percent last year, down 0.1 point from 2015.
Before becoming senior vice president of U.S. operations, Davis was a senior vice president of r&d and responsible for vehicle development and planning for North America.