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|
Nominated executives (for the positions of president and higher)
|Katsuaki Watanabe*||Vice chairman||President|
|Kazuo Okamoto||Vice chairman||Vice chairman|
|Akio Toyoda*||President||Executive vice president|
Planned retiring executives (at the rank of president or higher)
|Katsuhiro Nakagawa||Vice chairman|