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

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TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp stated on Thursday that Akio Toyoda will step down as president and chief government to turn out to be chairman from April 1, and hand over the helm of Japan’s largest automaker to the corporate’s prime branding officer.

Koji Sato, a 53-year-old who can be president of Toyota’s luxurious model Lexus, will turn out to be the brand new CEO, the corporate stated. The present chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada will drop his chairman title however stay on the board.

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The difficulty of who would take over from Toyoda, the 66-year-old grandson of the corporate’s founder, had more and more been a spotlight for buyers.

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Throughout his greater than a decade on the prime, Toyoda presided over the carmaker throughout a interval of intense change within the auto trade and rising uncertainty about how legacy automakers comparable to Toyota can fend off the problem from newer – and sometimes nimbler – challengers comparable to Tesla.

Throughout his time, Toyota additionally got here underneath fireplace from environmental buyers and teams for what they stated was a reluctance to embrace electrical autos.

Toyoda, talking at a information convention, stated his time period on the helm of Toyota began in 2009 with “disaster after disaster” from the results of a worldwide recession, to Toyota’s personal recall and security disaster to the disruption that adopted the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan.

At a shareholder assembly in June final 12 months, Toyoda stated he was “fascinated with timing and the choice of a successor” when requested about succession planning.

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On Thursday, he stated Sato was chosen as a result of he “labored arduous to study Toyota’s philosophy.”

“The CEO wants youth, power, energy.”

Sato began his profession at Toyota in 1992, earlier than rising by way of the ranks to turn out to be chief engineer of Lexus Worldwide, a luxurious auto model of Toyota, in 2016, in keeping with his profile on the Toyota web site.

He has held positions because the president of Lexus Worldwide and Gazoo Racing Firm, Toyota’s motorsport model, since 2020. He additionally took on an government function at Toyota and have become its chief branding officer in January 2021. (Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Writing by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Enhancing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, David Dolan and Kim Coghill)

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