Honda taps woman to board, promotes foreigner

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News,Business,Auto Industry,Honda

TOKYO (AP) — Honda has appointed a woman to its board for the first time and given a major promotion to a foreigner in a sign the automaker wants to change perceptions of a hidebound corporate culture.

Honda Motor Co. announced Monday that technology expert Hideko Kunii will join the board and Issao Mizoguchi, a Brazilian of Japanese ancestry, has been appointed operating officer.

The appointments need shareholder approval.

Companies have come under fire within Japan for not promoting anyone other than Japanese males.

Kunii obtained her computer sciences doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. She previously worked for Japanese electronics maker Ricoh and now is in charge of promoting gender equality at Tokyo's Shibaura Institute of Technology.

Mizoguchi is senior vice president and director of Honda South America.

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