Lewis Booth, recently appointed a senior adviser in charge of corporate strategy at Mazda, was promoted to president on Friday.

Before going to Mazda, Booth, 53, was president of Ford Asia Pacific, Africa & Technical Staffs, where, during his two years in the post, he was responsible for operations in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India.

Booth replaces Mark Fields who, it was announced earlier on Friday, will become Ford's vice president of Premier Automotive Group on July 1 following the departure of Wolfgang Reitzle.

In his Ford Asia-Pacific role Booth was involved in Ford's plans for China and he told journalists at a Friday press conference in Japan that he will continue the focus on China while heading Mazda.

British-born Booth is a former group managing director of South Africa Motor Corporation (SAMCOR), the assembler of Mazda and Ford vehicles which Ford owned 45 percent during his tenure.