Mazda Announces New Executive Appointment
Mazda Motor Corporation announced today the appointment of Joseph Bakaj as Senior Advisor in charge of Product Strategy, Design and Product Development effective on March 1, 2002.
Bakaj has more than 15 years of product development experience at Ford Motor Company, working in Britain, Germany and in the United States. His past experiences include powertrain engineering and extensive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and chassis work. Bakaj was Vehicle Engineering manager for the new Ford Mondeo, and he was named "Engineer of the Year" in 2000 by UK-based Autocar magazine for his work on that project. Immediately prior to accepting his position at Mazda, he worked in Dearborn, Mich., as Vehicle Engineering Director for North American Truck product development.
Mark Fields, President of Mazda Motor Corporation said, "It is a pleasure to welcome Joe on board. He has rich experience in R&D as an engineer and manager. With his award-winning experience, he will be prove to be a great leader within Mazda R&D."
Holding a degree in mechanical engineering from City University in London, Bakaj joined Ford of Britain in 1985.
He will take over from Philip R. Martens who is leaving Mazda to take up a position with Ford Motor Company as Vice President, Vehicle Programs and Processes, and North American Product Development effective on March 1, 2002.
Fields said, "To see the significance of the role Phil Martens played at Mazda R&D just look at the new Atenza (Mazda6) and RX-8, unveiled at the Tokyo and Detroit motor shows. These are the first of a new generation of Mazda cars. He returns to Ford with the best wishes of the entire team at Mazda for future success."
Martens was appointed to Mazda in November 1999 and has played a leading role in the development of Mazda's new generation of cars. He joined Ford in 1987 and has held a variety of product development engineering and management positions in the United States and Europe.