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Toyota CEO and President Akio Toyoda to step down

Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp.

Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

Toyota Motor Company’s President and Chief Government Akio Toyoda will step down from his submit on April 1, to get replaced by present Chief Branding Officer Koji Sato, the Japanese automaker mentioned Thursday.

Sato, 53, has been heading the Toyota Lexis division and the GAZOO racing firm since 2020.

Toyoda will develop into the brand new chairman of the board, whereas the present Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada will proceed as a member of the board.

Toyoda, 66, is the grandson of the carmaker’s founder and has served as chief government since June 2009.

“I assumed the easiest way to additional Toyota’s transformation could be for me to develop into chairman in help of a brand new president, and this has led to right this moment’s determination. Chairman Uchiyamada has lengthy supported me in all possible methods,” Toyoda mentioned in a translated webcast.

“On reflection, these 13 years have been a interval of struggling to outlive sooner or later after the subsequent, and that’s my trustworthy feeling,” he added.

“The present Toyota structural change has been triggered by my resignation,” Uchiyamada mentioned, stressing that he had been contemplating the timing of his retirement for “a while” to make method for a brand new technology.

“The inspiration for passing the baton to the subsequent technology has been laid,” he mentioned.

“Vehicles sooner or later will evolve within the idea of mobility itself. Amid such, I hope to protect the important worth of the automotive and suggest new types of mobility,” Sato mentioned, including that this represented the mission of the brand new management workforce.

Tokyo-listed shares of Toyota ended the session 0.63% decrease Thursday forward of the announcement.

A pioneer of inexperienced vehicles in 1997 with the introduction of its hybrid Prius, the corporate has more and more fended off criticism over the tempo at which it has pursued fully-electric autos, enjoying catch-up to newcomers equivalent to Tesla.

In Dec. 2021, it introduced plans to provide 30 EV fashions by 2030. A yr later, in Dec. 2022, it mentioned a consortium it leads secured funding to develop a hydrogen gasoline cell pickup truck within the U.Ok.

Sato on Thursday acknowledged Toyota should proceed its inexperienced efforts: “Power safety, for instance, that could be a large problem that the entire planet must face. And in addition that the endeavor in direction of carbon neutrality will likely be one instance of what we now have to work on.”

CNBC’s Jihye Lee contributed to this story

Correction: This text has been up to date to replicate that Toyoda was referring to the corporate Toyota when discussing its transformation within the webcast.

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