(CTN News) – Toyota’s longtime president and CEO Akio Toyoda is stepping down and handing the company over to Lexus boss Koji Sato.
The Japanese company announced the shakeup on Thursday, stating that Toyoda would take over the daily management of the company from Sato while Toyoda would take on the chairmanship.
Toyota announced on Thursday that Takeshi Uchiyamada, the company’s current chairman, would resign from the post but remain on its board of directors. As of April 1, the changes are expected to come into effect.
As a result of the leadership reshuffle, an era has come to an end.
After gaining extensive experience in all phases of automotive operations, such as production, marketing, and product development, both in Japan and internationally, Toyota’s sixth president, Akira Toyoda, became the company’s president in June 2009. He was the grandson of the company’s founder.
While speaking at a press conference in Japan on Thursday, Mr. Toyoda acknowledged that the last 13 years have not been peaceful.
It wasfor him to hear criticism of his leadership and he never experienced a calm and peaceful year, saying that he did not always feel “welcome as president.”
My belief is that over the past 13 years, I have built a solid foundation for passing the baton on to the next generation.”
According to the 66-year-old CEO, he prefers to work on the assembly line with factory workers rather than sitting in an office.
A regime change has been announced at a time when Toyota has been scrutinized for lagging behind the competition in the electric vehicle market.
Unlike other automakers who are investing all-in on EVs, Toyota has previously said that it’s still not convinced that’s the correct course of action.
Though Toyota is the world’s largest automaker based on the number of cars sold, it has stayed far behind most of its major global competitors when it comes to building fully battery-powered electric vehicles, despite its long history of developing hybrid automobiles.
However, there have been more investments by the company in the development of electric vehicles that are powered by hydrogen fuel cells than anything else the company has done. Instead of having rechargeable batteries on board, this is an alternative.
Currently, Sato serves as Toyota’s chief opeer, chief branding officer, as overseeing oversees Lexus, an e recently announced that he and his new leadership team will be focused on turning the automaker into a full-fledged “mobility company.”