• Mar 7th 2009 at 10:33AM
  • 26
Joining the ranks of Carroll Shelby, Rick Wagoner, Henry Ford II, Robert Eaton, Lee Iacocca and John DeLorean (to name just a few), James O'Sullivan will receive the 2009 Automotive Executive of the Year Award at an invitation-only luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) in May. O'Sullivan is the current President and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation.
The award, started in 1964, recognizes excellence in automotive leadership from OEM executives as chosen by a nominating committee comprised of industry media, analysts, and suppliers. O'Sullivan has more than three decades of experience in the industry, and he held many key positions with Ford before heading Mazda. Robert Djurovic, executive director of the Automotive Executive of the Year award program said, "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, James is the ideal candidate for the 2009 Automotive Executive of the Year."

[Source: Mazda]


Mazda President and CEO, James O'Sullivan, to Receive 2009 Automotive Executive of the Year Award

DETROIT, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2009 Automotive Executive of the Year Award will be presented to James O'Sullivan, President and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation, at an invitation-only luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) on May 6th. More than 200 automotive OEM executives and supplier leaders will attend the event.

The award has recognized excellence in automotive leadership from OEM executives since 1964. Past winners include Carroll Shelby, Jim Press, Bill Ford, Jr., Dieter Zetsche, Rick Wagoner, Henry Ford II, Robert Eaton, Thomas Stallkamp, Roger Smith, Harold E. Poling, Lee Iacocca and John DeLorean.

The Automotive Executive of the Year Award nominating committee is composed of automotive industry media, various industry analysts, and automotive supplier CEOs. Corporate sponsors have included DNV, Siemens PLM, DuPont Automotive, and others.

"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 Mazda 3, James is the ideal candidate for the 2009 Automotive Executive of the Year," said Robert Djurovic, DNV's director of automotive services-North America, and executive director of the Automotive Executive of the Year award program.

O'Sullivan has brought Mazda a wealth of automotive experience from more than 30 years in the business. Prior to Mazda, O'Sullivan joined Ford Motor Company in 1976 and held a number of key sales and marketing positions, including senior marketing executive at Lincoln Mercury.

"I am deeply honored to receive this award," said O'Sullivan. "However, were it not for the unwavering commitment of Mazda Motor Corporation in Japan, I would not be the one receiving such recognition."

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 for Mazda North American Operations in April 2003.

"It is because of our parent company's support that Mazda has the best North American dealer body and product portfolio in its history and a chief reason the company is on solid footing during these uncertain economic times," said O'Sullivan. "I am fortunate to be backed by strong executive teams in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that have continually performed beyond expectations."

"Now, more than ever, it is imperative to recognize and celebrate great leadership in the automotive industry," said Djurovic. "Great leaders are forged in the cauldron of adversity, and today's challenging economy presents opportunities for innovators like James O'Sullivan to implement new and forward-thinking plans."

About the Automotive Industry Executive of the Year Award

The award was originally created by Automotive Industries magazine in 1964 to recognize leadership in the automotive industry. When the magazine was sold in 2005, DNV Certification, the main corporate sponsor of the award for many years, acquired all rights to the award program in an effort to maintain its 45 years of tradition. The award has been presented annually at a private, invitation-only luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) since its inception. Additional information is available at www.autoexecoftheyear.com.

About DNV Certification

Established in 1864, DNV is an autonomous foundation with 300 offices in more than 100 countries. DNV is a world leader in management system certification to TS 16949, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and other national and international standards. Other services include training, CE Mark and product certification. Additional information is available at www.DNVcert.com.

Web Site: http://www.dnvcert.com/

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Chretien smith
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mr.Sullivan can you bring back the RX7 i have the 94 version and i would really like it if you remake it i would love to own a later model
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it just my imagination or is the car industry the most over awarded industry in the world. There seems to be an award for everything; even my dealership has a Presidential award for excellence every year it has been open along with every other dealership.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sully, toss another one back for me!

      A big Worcester( Woostah) congrats.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Homie needs to get himself a gym membership.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I was hoping one of the three GM executives could win this.
      what a shame... :P
      Michele Howard
      • 2 Years Ago
      I bought my MX5 Roadster 3 years ago and I LOVE her. Made to drive...she hugs the corners like shes an addict hanging on to her last fix...every time I drive her I wear a smile as big as a new moon- I would put petrol in her tank before I put food on my table- mind you Im single so no one to please by myself!!! cant imagine life without her... cute, sleek, sexy...and what a drive!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Better late than never.
      A Mazda executive should have won this 5 years ago in '04 or '05 for the introduction of the RX-8, Mazda6, and Mazda3 in '03 and '04 respectively. Those 2 years redefined the company's products and brought Mazda back to life. Gave life to many mainstream sedan buyers as well :))
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does he know what happens whit my car?
      In december 21st I passed over a bike tired down on the road and my Mazda CX-9, the car of the year, was destroyed by flammes. See the car in flammes an imagine my fear seeing the fire.


      Mazda people in Chile prefer go to trial before answer me what happens that night.

      • 2 Years Ago
      I've had my car for 4 years.. Drove it less than the average number of miles, had regular maintenance, did not abuse the vehicle and have just been told that it needs a new transmission!! If course it's not under warranty because Mazda's warranty only goes to $60,000 so u tell me, where am I going to get $3000 for a new transmission!! I called Mazda customer service and they had no sympathy no offer of assistance, nothing. It's time for a BBB report and time for me to eat PBJ sandwiches for the next 6 months!! So disappointed. I want to scream. That's ok, there are always other avenues to pursue to get a company's attention!! No more zoom zoom forme!! The zoom zoom doesn't last!!!
      • 6 Years Ago

      Alan Mullay has done a great job at Ford. Maybe he should have got the award.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I pick woody Thompson of - TheCarnerds.com as CEO.

      • 6 Years Ago
      John Krafcik of Hyundai should've won

      - INCREASES Hyundai SALES during historic downturn of competitors(40%)
      - nearly DOUBLES MARKET SHARE to nearly 4%
      - launches genious Assurance and Assurance+
      - Genesis North American COTY
      - Keep his job with a Korean company that turns execs. over quicker than

      O'Sullivan??? Mazda??? Don't think so.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1. Or, depending on how they define "executive," to Peter Schreyer over at Kia who has almost singlehandedly made the world forget the Sephia and Spectra because of the Forte, Soul and No. 3 Concept, and actually designed desirable Kias.

        I think the key phrase is "native Detroiter." And he's getting the award because of the Mazda 3? If that were the real reason he should have gotten the award a few years ago.
        • 6 Years Ago
        But, is Krafcik a "native detrioter" with "more than 30 years in the business" and other qualifiers like that?

        Those choices of descriptors being used first might say something... I'm just sayin' O'Sullivan is probably a good guy, but Mazda isn't all sunshine and lollipops. It is getting blander lately. Maybe that says something, too...

        I say this as a mazda car owner, and wanting them to succeed, but their motto is "the soul of a sports car in everything we make", and their offerings are becoming less and less sports car like (like new 6 being bloated, and losing the V6/manual transmission option), and their actual RWD sporting cars are no longer on the leading edge, however good they may be.

        But take a look at the Genesis products that Hyundai is coming to market with... The Sedan is re-defining affordable luxury sedans in a way Millenium didn't, and RX8 is more expensive and not as pure a coupe as the Genesis Coupe is, due to the extra doors.

        Mazda isn't bad, don't get me wrong... they just don't seem to be as 'hungry' as they used to be, and Hyundai is coming on stronger.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thanks Boxer. Because none of your earlier posts have detailed out what you think are some Mazda issues.


        But I do agree with what you're saying. However, I see it more of a mature company now. It has more broad-appeal products that needed to establish the brand and also to fund their upcoming RX programs. Every company now has to offer 70% "mainstream" products and the remaining are sharp, enthusiast products. Atleast the 6, CX-7, CX-9 and Mazda3 (shnoze notwithstanding) are attractive, well-made, "fun" products. When the RX-9/7 come out and join the MX-5 and Mazdaspeed3, that should make for a very well-balanced portfolio.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hyundai?? are you kidding me? Their lower-end cars are not worth more then the price of kia's you see on the road. I'm not saying they are bad, but their design quality leaves much to be desired. Not to mention their 100k mile warranty means nothing when something actually goes wrong... i've known quite a few situations when something happens and they find any and every excuse to say it's the drivers fault. Plus, the Genesis Coupe has very little daily driving experience to really base it upon this award.
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