Takata says CEO has no plans as of now to stand down

Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:30am EST
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By Naomi Tajitsu and Maki Shiraki

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp (7312.T: Quote), mired in a long-running safety recall crisis, said on Friday its Chairman and CEO Shigehisa Takada had no intention as of now to resign.

Citing two people close to Takata, Reuters earlier reported the company would tell its automaker customers at a meeting on Friday that Takada, grandson of the group's founder, was willing to step down and take responsibility for the recalls.

"There are plans for management reforms," said one of the individuals, adding this would involve expressing the willingness of Takada and other executives to resign. The sources said Takata has not taken any formal decision on Takada's future and no successor has been designated.

In a brief statement to the stock market, Takata said it had not announced Takada's resignation and "as of now he has no intention to resign."

It confirmed the meeting to update its automaker customers, but said it had nothing to disclose following those talks. The company apologised to customers and investors for "inconveniences and uncertainties" from the recalls.

Pressure has been building on the Tokyo-based company for almost two years over defective air bags that can explode with excessive force and shoot shrapnel inside the car - a problem that has ballooned into a crisis affecting tens of millions of cars. Takata said on Tuesday that an 11th death could be linked to a faulty air bag.

After the Reuters article, Takata shares rose nearly 11 percent on Friday - their biggest one-day gain in 4 weeks - in a market .N225 that closed 2.8 percent higher.

At the meeting, Takata was expected to outline its plans for supplying replacement air bag parts to its customers, the sources said. As part of that, Takata is looking to team up with Daicel Corp (4202.T: Quote) to make air bag inflators, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters previously.   Continued...

Takata Corp. Chief Executive and President Shigehisa Takada leaves a news conference in Tokyo November 4, 2015.   REUTERS/Issei Kato  - RTX1UNLN