Honda has announced that its president and CEO Takahiro Hachigo will step down from his post on April 1. He will be succeeded by Toshihiro Mibe, the automaker’s head of research and development. The announcement of Mibe’s appointment was made by the automaker last Friday.

Mibe, who has been president of the R&D unit since 2019, joined the company in 1987 and previously had stints in engine development and the brand’s powertrain and drivetrain business. The 59-year-old has worked with Hachigo to push through structural reforms at the automaker, which is racing to catch up in the field of all-electric cars and faces competition from new entrants and tech giants such as Tesla, Apple and Amazon, Reuters reports.

Hachigo, who will remain on the company board, said that Mibe’s expertise in environmental technology and energy as well as his attentiveness to changes were the reasons he was picked for the role. “He has been looking into the future, a direction that Honda should be taking,” Hachigo said at the press conference announcing the leadership change.

Speaking at the event, Mibe called for Honda’s “major transformation at great speed,” in line with the company’s direction to have electric vehicles and hybrids as well as fuel-cell cars contributing to two-thirds of its sales by 2030. “We would consider using external insight or potential alliances among other actions to make decisions without hesitation,” he said.

During his six years as CEO, Hachigo sought to simplify the vehicle development process by combining some operations for cars and motorcycles, and slashing costs by streamlining the brand’s model line-up and consolidating factories, both domestically and overseas. He also expanded a partnership with General Motors to include cooperation in developing electric and autonomous vehicles.