Takao Kato will replace Osamu Masuko from June 21, 2019, although the outgoing CEO will remain with the company.
- shares

Osamu Masuko, CEO of Mitsubishi Motors, will step down from his role as CEO when the company meets for its annual general meeting on June 21, 2019.

He will be replaced by Takao Kato, who is the president of Mitsubishi Motors Indonesia. Masuko (above) will stay with the automaker as its chairman.

Both men will hold a press conference on May 20, Japan time, to discuss the change of leadership.

Kato joined Mitsubishi in 1984, and has held many senior roles at the company's factory in Nagoya. He spent four years in Russia before returning to Japan in 2014. He was made president of Mitsubishi Motors Indonesia in 2015.

Masuko has been with the automaker since 1972, and was made president in 2007 before being elevated into the position of CEO in 2014.

During his time as Mitsubishi's chief, he has sought to refocus the company's limited development resources on crossover vehicles and emerging market vehicles.

This has meant axing the well-established Lancer line, and launching the Eclipse Cross, and the Xpander people mover (above).

He also closed the company's only US factory in Normal, Illinois, which was eventually bought by Rivian, a startup electric SUV and pickup truck maker.

These moves returned Mitsubishi to profit after years in the red, but it wasn't all smooth sailing during Masuko's reign.

In 2016, Mitsubishi admitted it had falsified the fuel economy numbers for its domestic models for around 25 years.

The scandal saw Nissan, Mitsubishi's kei car partner, purchase a controlling 34% stake in the smaller automaker.

By bringing Mitsubishi under its control, the renamed Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance was able to claim the title of the world's best selling automaker in 2018, edging out the Volkswagen Group.

It also been swept up into the uncertainty caused by the arrest of Carlos Ghosn in 2018, who was, at the time, CEO of Renault, and the chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi.