• May 7, 2009
Mazda North America CEO Jim O'Sullivan couldn't have had a great year, considering the overall state of the U.S. auto industry. Given all the challenges, though, the Zoom Zoom automaker has fared very well. Mazda is one of the few companies that hasn't decreased research, development or design spending. The Japanese automaker has also replaced its entire lineup over the last 18 months, including its top-selling models, the Mazda6 and Mazda3.

Those accomplishments have conspired to give O'Sullivan a prestigious honor; Auto Executive of the Year. The award is voted on by a committee comprised of automotive industry media, industry analysts and automotive supplier CEOs. O'Sullivan, who has been CEO at Mazda North America since 2003, gives much of the credit to his co-workers at Mazda. Some past winners of the award include Carol Shelby, Jim Press, Bill Ford Jr., and Lee Iacocca. Hit the jump to view the Mazda press release.

[Source: Mazda USA]

PRESS RELEASE:

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.


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  • 11 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wondering if he is now smiling about as much as the cars?
      • 5 Years Ago
      As one of hundreds of Mazda-supported race drivers, I'll say "Congratulations!" to Jim & Mazda NA!
      • 5 Years Ago
      yeah this is old- it was awarded back on March 6th. I guess Mazda just hadnt gotten around to an actual press release about it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mazda NA deserves the award just due to their motorsports program alone. Kudos!
      • 5 Years Ago
      They need to put the front end of the Mazda3 on his face. Smile, you are doing well!


      (I'm smiling, I love my MazdaSpeed Miata!)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would have thought Mulally would easily have gotten this award. Maybe it's still too early....next year's shoe-in perhaps?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ford's sales are way down and they're losing money hand over fist. If the economy doesn't turn around, they'll probably be asking for a bailout by the end of the year. It would be premature to start clapping each other on the back just yet.

        If he succeeds in completing the turnaround he says is underway, then he certainly would be a shoo-in in a future year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would have thought Mulally would have been a shoe in for this...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kudos to Jim. This company is doing great things, especially in Canada and Europe. Great products, great focus...like Car & Driver said at the end of the CX-9 review..."Mazda is perhaps the most focused car-maker today, even more-so than BMW".

      • 5 Years Ago
      It's almost a win by default nowadays.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Congrats, Mazda NA. Now give us the new Mazda6 hatchback!