The Associated Press is reporting that Toyota will once again have a Toyoda at the helm before long. Akio Toyoda, the 52-year-old grandson of Toyota Motor Corp's founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, is reportedly about to be voted in by the board. If everything goes as planned, he will officially take over the presidency in June. It will be the first time in 14 years that a Toyoda will lead the company, but Akio isn't your father's Toyoda. He is known for being a lot more laid-back than the typical Japanese executive, which might help rejuvenate the company.

Current president Katsuaki Watanabe is on his way out as Toyota faces its first projected operating loss in the company's 70-year history. Just like the rest of the world, Toyota sales have slumped and the automaker has had to cut production and lay off temporary workers. Although Toyota remains predictably tight-lipped on the move, it's expected that Watanabe will become a vice chairman, with current chairman Fujio Cho keeping that position. Toyoda has been an executive vice president since 2005, so this "prince" (as the Japanese media call him) should be well-prepared for the job. Thanks for the tip, Jarrett!

[Source: Associated Press]

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