Crisis-hit Takata Corporation has announced that its US subsidiary TK Holdings (TKH) has appointed Paul M. O’Brien as vice president of Ethics and Compliance. This role was newly created as a part of the company’s ‘ enhanced Ethics and Compliance program to reinforce its commitment to driver safety through a rigorous culture of integrity, ethics and compliance’.

The company is being hit by an unprecedented recall programme due to faulty airbags. The costs for the company continue to mount.

In his new role, Mr. O’Brien will manage Takata’s compliance programs, policies and practices in North America, working across all Takata business units to ensure that they are meeting all policy and reporting guidelines and requirements. He will also be responsible for conducting internal investigations regarding compliance matters and providing training to employees on substantive legal and compliance topics. Mr. O’Brien will report to Eric J. Laptook, the general counsel, chief compliance officer and chief safety assurance and accountability officer of TKH.

“Paul is a highly respected professional and we are pleased to have him join TKH full-time as we continue to strengthen and enhance our Ethics and Compliance Program,” said Kevin M. Kennedy, president of TKH. “Takata is committed to the highest standards of integrity and accountability. We have taken significant steps to identify issues, put in place protocols to ensure that they are addressed, and create a climate where our employees are empowered to act if they see something they think may not be right. We look forward to leveraging Paul’s decades of expertise as we continue our efforts to further strengthen our compliance culture.”

Takata says it has taken actions to strengthen quality, safety and compliance in all aspects of its work. Last year, Takata established the independent quality assurance panel with a broad mandate to review Takata’s safety practices and policies. The Panel made 15 recommendations to improve Takata’s safety processes, and the company has taken steps to initiate action on all of these recommendations. In addition, Takata retained an independent monitor and appointed a chief safety assurance and accountability officer (CSO) who will monitor compliance with the company’s obligations under the NHTSA consent orders and with NHTSA’s Coordinated Remedy Program. Under the CSO, Takata has created a Safety Accountability and Assurance Office and a Product Safety Group with authority to investigate and preemptively address safety issues across Takata’s product lines.

Mr. O’Brien served at the US Department of Justice for nearly 22 years, most recently as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division, overseeing the Office of Enforcement Operations and the Public Integrity Section. Previously, he was the director of the Office of Enforcement Operations, where he formulated and implemented policies and guidelines regarding the use of sensitive law enforcement tools in all phases of federal investigation and prosecution. He has also served as the Chief of the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of the Justice Department. Before joining the Criminal Division, Mr. O’Brien served as Interim US Attorney, First Assistant United States Attorney, and Criminal Chief at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee. He holds a J.D. from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at University of Memphis and a B.S. from Texas A&M University.