DENSO Selects New North American CEO, Announces Organization Changes

Jan. 12, 2021

Leadership moves, organization restructuring increases DENSO’s flexibility and quickens decision-making

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (Jan. 12, 2020)DENSO, a leading mobility supplier, today announced changes to its North American executive personnel as part of organizational updates made recently by the company’s global headquarters in Japan. The changes took effect Jan. 1, 2021.

New North American CEO
DENSO has named Seiji Maeda CEO of DENSO’s North American operations. He also is a senior director at DENSO Corporation.

Prior to this post, Maeda was the head of DENSO’s Motor Business Unit in Japan, a role he began in 2018. From 2012-2017, he held such positions as director of Corporate Planning, general manager of Electronics Business Planning and general manager of Thermal Systems Business Planning. Before those roles, Maeda spent nearly five years at DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, Michigan, 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 Corporation and the previous CEO of DENSO’s North American operations, has returned to the company’s global headquarters, where he will lead the General Administration and Human Resources Center as its chief human resources officer. Ito helmed DENSO’s North American operations for nearly five years, playing a key role in its implementation of DENSO’s Second Founding, the company’s strategy to enrich mobility and meet the automotive industry’s evolving needs.

North American Engineering Restructures
DENSO has 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 (R&D). The division has been divided into two units:
Design and Engineering – Led by Pat Bassett, a 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.
R&D—Led by Shinichiro Nakamura, a senior vice president, the department will spearhead innovation efforts in connectivity and mobility R&D. 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 R&D, as well as the Engineering Development Promotion Division, the Intellectual Property Division, the Design Division, the Product Design Key Technology R&D 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 R&D, compressor development and engineering planning.

Rick Smith, previously the vice president of the Thermal Management Unit, has moved to an advisory position.

New DENSO Mexico President
DENSO Manufacturing Mexico has welcomed a new president, Hiromasa Hakamada. Hakamada joined DENSO in April 1991 and has served as director of Production Control.

Mitsuru Kato, the previous president of the location, has returned to DENSO’s global headquarters, where he has been promoted to senior director and joined the CEO Division.

Reborn 21
DENSO has made all of these changes in support of Reborn 21, the company initiative to
revolutionize its operations, provide new value to society and customers, and reaffirm its focus on quality. By the end of March 2021, DENSO will use this strategy to recommit to its foundational pillars of "green" (environmentally friendly) and "peace of mind" (safer
world for all) and 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. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 200 facilities to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, & electronic systems, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company’s 170,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 9.9 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020. For more information about global DENSO, visit

In North America, DENSO is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, and employs 27,000+ engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 51 sites in the U.S, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,700+ employees across 14 states (and the District of Columbia) and 41 sites. In fiscal year ending March 31, 2020, DENSO in North America generated $10.9 billion in consolidated sales. DENSO is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion inside the company and beyond – a principle that brings unique perspectives together, bolsters innovation and pushes DENSO forward. Join us, and craft not only how the world moves, but also your career: For more information, go to