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Changes at Honda

NEWS STORY
23/02/2009

The Honda Motor Company has announced that Chief Executive Officer Takeo Fukui will stand down in June, when he will be replaced by Senior Managing Director Takanobu Ito.

Ito, a 31-year Honda veteran, has been chief operating officer since 2007, while Fukui, who has led Honda for six years, will remain as an advisor to the company and continue to serve on its board.

The announcement was made at a press conference in Tokyo this morning, where Fukui, a keen racing fan, admitted that things are looking difficult for his company's former Formula One team.

"There are various offers for the team but we have not seen any serious buyer yet," he admitted. "We find the sale process difficult."

At the weekend, Richard Branson admitted that though he is eyeing F1, he would not consider entering the sport until various long-term conditions have been met. At the same time, Bernie Ecclestone claimed that his own 100m rescue package has been rejected by the current management team at Brackley.

It is understood that the deadline for an engine deal with Mercedes - whereby the prospective purchaser must convince the German manufacturer of its ability to pay for its powerplants - runs out today, while Honda's own deadline for the sale of the team is March 5.

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