Takata CEO "doesn't view this as a crisis..."

Takata_CEo_TakadaAccording to business associates of Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada, he is calm and doesn't consider the airbag situation a crisis. Although at least five people were killed, eight were seriously injured, and millions of cars were recalled as a result of Takata's faulty airbags, the third-generation CEO doesn't seem overly concerned. 

The company is being sued, and executives answered tough questions at a Senate Hearing recently. All signs point to a crisis. But, according to a Business Insider article, three people who spoke with Takada thought he denied the gravity of the situation. As one said, "He acts like this recall is going to blow by in due time and harbors little sense of crisis." Another said, "He's a nice man, very sincere and seemingly capable, but he doesn't view this as a crisis spiraling out of control." 

In part, the article blames pressure from the large automakers, pressure from lawyers, and pressure from a former, powerful Takata executive, Takada's mother: "Imagine being her son and trying to exercise leadership with her buzzing around you. He's paralyzed to make decisions on his own."

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Discussion Starters: 

  • Does Takada need to act differently? Should he be more visible? 
  • Describe possible pressure from clients, such as Toyota and Honda. What are their concerns in this mess? 
  • What about attorneys? What are their concerns for the company?