Toyota names Lexus chief Koji Sato CEO as Akio Toyoda takes chairman role

TOKYO, Jan 26 ― Toyota Motor Corp explained currently that Akio Toyoda will stage down as president and chief govt to come to be chairman from April 1, and hand about the helm of Japan’s greatest automaker to the company’s top branding officer.

Koji Sato, a 53-year-old who is also president of Toyota’s luxury model Lexus, will become the new CEO, the company claimed. The latest chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada will drop his chairman title but keep on being on the board.

The concern of who would consider in excess of from Toyoda, the 66-year-outdated grandson of the firm’s founder, experienced significantly been a focus for buyers.

For the duration of his a lot more than a decade at the leading, Toyoda presided over the carmaker all through a interval of rigorous alter in the automobile marketplace and mounting uncertainty about how legacy automakers these as Toyota can fend off the obstacle from newer ― and frequently nimbler ― challengers these as Tesla.

In the course of his time, Toyota also arrived below fireplace from environmental traders and groups for what they stated was a reluctance to embrace electric powered automobiles.

Toyoda, speaking at a news conference, explained his expression at the helm of Toyota begun in 2009 with “crisis soon after crisis” from the outcomes of a world economic downturn, to Toyota’s individual recall and safety disaster to the disruption that followed the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan.

At a shareholder assembly in June last calendar year, Toyoda explained he was “thinking about timing and the range of a successor” when questioned about succession preparing.

On Thursday, he explained Sato was preferred because he “worked really hard to discover Toyota’s philosophy”.

“The CEO needs youth, energy, energy.”

Sato started out his vocation at Toyota in 1992, just before climbing through the ranks to turn into main engineer of Lexus Intercontinental, a luxury automobile brand name of Toyota, in 2016, according to his profile on the Toyota internet site.

He has held positions as the president of Lexus Global and Gazoo Racing Organization, Toyota’s motorsport brand, considering the fact that 2020. He also took on an govt function at Toyota and grew to become its main branding officer in January 2021. ― Reuters