TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) – Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) will appoint Masahiro Moro, director and senior managing executive officer, as its new president and CEO, the Japanese automaker said on Friday.

The 62-year-old, a 40-year company veteran who previously served as the head of the automaker’s North America operations, will officially take over pending the approval of the shareholders and board in June.

Current President and CEO Akira Marumoto, who took up his role in 2018, will step down from his posts at that time, the company said. Marumoto would continue to serve as an adviser, the Nikkei newspaper reported separately on Friday.

The leadership shake-up comes as the company, which is owned 5.1% by automotive giant Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), said in November it would ramp up spending to electrify its vehicles and is considering investing in battery production.

Mazda said incumbent representative director and chairman of the board Kiyotaka Shobuda would remain in his post.

Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Kim Coghill

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