Mazda President and CEO, James O'Sullivan, to Receive 2009 Automotive Executive of the Year Award

DETROIT, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2009 Automotive Executive of the Year Award will be presented to James O'Sullivan, President and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation, at an invitation-only luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) on May 6th. More than 200 automotive OEM executives and supplier leaders will attend the event.

The award has recognized excellence in automotive leadership from OEM executives since 1964. Past winners include Carroll Shelby, Jim Press, Bill Ford, Jr., Dieter Zetsche, Rick Wagoner, Henry Ford II, Robert Eaton, Thomas Stallkamp, Roger Smith, Harold E. Poling, Lee Iacocca and John DeLorean.

The Automotive Executive of the Year Award nominating committee is composed of automotive industry media, various industry analysts, and automotive supplier CEOs. Corporate sponsors have included DNV, Siemens PLM, DuPont Automotive, and others.

"As a native Detroiter with a strong background in the actual sales process, coupled with a lean inventory, a solid partnership with JP Morgan Chase, and a great market offering in the Mazda 3, James is the ideal candidate for the 2009 Automotive Executive of the Year," said Robert Djurovic, DNV's director of automotive services-North America, and executive director of the Automotive Executive of the Year award program.

O'Sullivan has brought Mazda a wealth of automotive experience from more than 30 years in the business. Prior to Mazda, O'Sullivan joined Ford Motor Company in 1976 and held a number of key sales and marketing positions, including senior marketing executive at Lincoln Mercury.

"I am deeply honored to receive this award," said O'Sullivan. "However, were it not for the unwavering commitment of Mazda Motor Corporation in Japan, I would not be the one receiving such recognition."

In his position at Mazda, O'Sullivan is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's U.S., Canadian, Mexican, and Puerto Rican operations, including sales, marketing, parts and service, logistics, communications, customer support, and regional operations. O'Sullivan was appointed president and CEO for Mazda North American Operations in April 2003.

"It is because of our parent company's support that Mazda has the best North American dealer body and product portfolio in its history and a chief reason the company is on solid footing during these uncertain economic times," said O'Sullivan. "I am fortunate to be backed by strong executive teams in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that have continually performed beyond expectations."

"Now, more than ever, it is imperative to recognize and celebrate great leadership in the automotive industry," said Djurovic. "Great leaders are forged in the cauldron of adversity, and today's challenging economy presents opportunities for innovators like James O'Sullivan to implement new and forward-thinking plans."

About the Automotive Industry Executive of the Year Award

The award was originally created by Automotive Industries magazine in 1964 to recognize leadership in the automotive industry. When the magazine was sold in 2005, DNV Certification, the main corporate sponsor of the award for many years, acquired all rights to the award program in an effort to maintain its 45 years of tradition. The award has been presented annually at a private, invitation-only luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) since its inception. Additional information is available at

About DNV Certification

Established in 1864, DNV is an autonomous foundation with 300 offices in more than 100 countries. DNV is a world leader in management system certification to TS 16949, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and other national and international standards. Other services include training, CE Mark and product certification. Additional information is available at

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