It's official – there will soon be a Toyoda back at the helm of Toyota. Akio Toyoda, the grandson of company founder Kiichiro Toyoda had been rumored as the likely pick to succeed current president Katsuaki Watanabe, but only now has the company given official word that the torch will be passed this June.
In addition to bringing the company back under family control, Toyoda's ascendancy is important for a number of reasons. Toyoda brings with him both experience (he has been an executive vice president since 2005) and a youthful energy. At age 53, he'll be the youngest president in Toyota history, and he brings with him a resume that includes time in China and a school and work history here in the States.

Toyoda takes over a marque that finds itself in unfamiliar territory, having had its global sales slip by four percent in 2008 in the midst of growing worldwide financial crisis. He is expected to consider more production outside of Japan to avoid the strong yen and pricy local materials, but it is likely that he will look over the viability of every aspect of the business, from marketing to motorsports to product and production. Click through to the jump for a chart of the executive changes happening at Toyota.

[Sources: Toyota; Automotive News, sub req'd.]


January 20, 2009

Toyota Announces New Top-management Team
Tokyo - TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announces a list of executive nominees (for the positions of president and higher) intended to be officially finalized at a board of directors meeting following this year's annual general shareholders meeting in June.

Nominated executives (for the positions of president and higher)
Name New Current
Fujio Cho Chairman Chairman
Katsuaki Watanabe* Vice chairman President
Kazuo Okamoto Vice chairman Vice chairman
Akio Toyoda* President Executive vice president
Asterisk indicates promotion

Planned retiring executives (at the rank of president or higher)
Katsuhiro Nakagawa Vice chairman

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