Honda Motor Co. are looking to move from the 'dark ages' style of having only Japanese men on their board, and are considering the possibility of a foreigner or even a woman as a board member.
Following traditional Japanese methods of having all men and all Japanese board members, is something that Honda are looking to move away from as they seek to take more ground in other worldwide markets.
Honda are set to announce their board of directors today (Monday) and it has been said that they may even bring someone in as early as today. Honda will not rush into any decision, and if more time is needed, they will wait for the right person before making any appointment.
It is not been stated whether they will look for someone outside of the company or promote one of their already foreign staff to a position in the board.
This is what Tetsuo Iwamura Honda's executive vice president had to say about appointing a foreigner: “I think we have to think quite seriously, and we are thinking very, very seriously”.
Honda is the third largest car maker in Japan behind Toyota and Nissan. Both of these major Japanese automobile manufacturing companies have moved away from this some what primitive style of management and include a diverse mixture of mostly Japanese but with some foreigners and women in their board of directors.
Major companies in Japan are under pressure to move away from this strategy to gain a more global perspective and make more impact in other markets. Traditional methods of choosing from senior male managers who have spent their whole careers with the company, is not quite as popular as it once was.
Honda was the first Japanese company to start building some of its vehicles outside of Japan. In 1982 Honda began assembling cars in the US and they now make and sell as much as 80% of their vehicles over seas.
Bringing a foreigner onto the board seems to be a must for the company if they want to move forward and make more of an impact worldwide.