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Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda to Step Down in April 2023

Toyota announced that president and CEO Akio Toyoda will retire on April 1, 2023. The 66-year-old grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda took over in 2009.

Toyoda, who races as “Morizo,” is also a businessman. He declared the “no more boring cars” campaign in early 2017, resulting in a line-up overhaul. Toyota GR Supra, GR86, GR Yaris, and GR Corolla are some sporty cars that made their debut during his tenure.

Toyoda will replace Takeshi Uchiyamada as the chairman of the board of directors, while the latter will become a board member. Experts say Toyoda will remain a dominant influence in the world’s largest automaker even after he leaves.

Julie Boote, an analyst at Pelham Smithers Associates in London, told Reuters that:

The new appointment is less about a change in direction and more about careful consideration of the best possible way to organise the handover, avoiding disruption and chaos. It’s likely that he’ll remain active as chairman for a long time and continue to put his mark on Toyota.

Toyoda’s successor will be Koji Sato — the current president of the Lexus and Gazoo Racing division. The 53-year-old will become Toyota’s 12th president, joining a select few who aren’t from the Toyoda lineage.

Expediting EV Production

Toyoda was a huge advocate of hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs). He also openly contested the viability of electric vehicles (EVs) which earned him notoriety among car experts and environmental activists.

With Toyoda relinquishing his position, market speculations suggest that the automaker may finally expedite its EV transition under new leadership.

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