Long Beach, Calif. — Tom Haga, president, chairman and CEO of Pioneer North America, has decided to leave the company on March 31 and will be replaced by Masao Kawabata. Kawabata currently serves as Pioneer Electronics’ corporate branding and communications general manager in Japan.
Haga, who has had a 38-year career with Pioneer, will then move into an executive advisory role for incoming president, at least through June 1.
Company sources said Haga’s decision to leave Pioneer on March 31, the end of the parent company’s fiscal year, was not related to and made prior to the news last week concerning the manufacturer’s move to halt production of plasma screens and changes in its business strategy.
In a prepared statement from Pioneer, Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, commented, “Haga succeeded in ensuring that Pioneer could respond quickly and effectively to the changing consumer electronics environment. He transformed Pioneer as the industry moved from analog to digital and from stand-alone to networked products. We are so thankful to Tom for his many years of support and the unique perspective he brought to the industry.”
During his career, Haga led the company operations in Japan, the United States and the international business division, which included China, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The bulk of his career, 31 years, has been in the U.S. market with Pioneer at its Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
Kawabata will be responsible for corporate planning, shareholder relations, legal issues and overall business coordination for Pioneer North America (PNA) and its subsidiaries. He will serve as chairman of each of the PNA subsidiaries, including sales and marketing for the United States and Canada, service and repair, automotive OEM sales, research and development, and manufacturing and patents.