Guido Durrer, who steered Joyson Safety Systems for more than three years following its takeover of Takata Corp.’s business operations, plans to retire as president and CEO on Dec. 31.
Effective Jan. 1, the top job will be filled by Tao Liu, who recently joined the suburban Detroit automotive supplier as deputy CEO to learn the ropes from Durrer, 67, over the next four months, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
Liu, 56, joins the company as it revamps plant operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic with an emphasis on safety and as it tries to shake the troubled reputation of Takata, which was doomed by a longtime and systemic airbag scandal. Formerly known as Key Safety Systems, Joyson is a subsidiary of China-based Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp. It purchased Takata’s assets for $1.6 billion in 2018.
“We will be forever grateful for the legacy that Guido has etched on our entire organization, including his leadership through our corporate integration and strong guidance during the challenges of the pandemic,” Jeff Wang, chairman of Joyson, said in the statement.
Durrer took the helm of the company in 2018 after 30 years in automotive industry leadership roles, including 10 years as CEO at ThyssenKrupp Presta AG, the auto steering subsidiary of German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp AG.
Following his retirement, Durrer will step into an advisory role in the chairman’s office and continue to serve as a company board member.
Liu joins Joyson from Nexteer Automotive, where he worked for 12 years, most recently as president and global COO. Prior to that, he served 13 years as manager of China operations for Delphi Automotive Systems.
Joyson has been implementing new operations policies across its more than 50 plants, prioritizing standardized quality and reporting practices, as well as waste-reduction programs, Automotive News reported in April.
The company reported $4.66 billion in revenue in 2020. It employs around 50,000 people across 76 locations worldwide, including 591 in metro Detroit, according to spokesman Bryan Johnson. Administrative employees are operating on a hybrid model between in-person and remote work.
Joyson ranks No. 48 on the Autmotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers in terms of its worldwide sales.