Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda steps down to take the Chairman position, Koii Sato takes over as CEO

Some leaders they know when to leave a state and give other a chance. Toyota’s chief executive officer Akio Toyoda has step down, he held this position for 13 years. Toyoda will handover the position of CEO to the 53-year-old engineer Koji Sato, who would take over as president and CEO in April 2023. 

“When it comes to digitalisation, electrification and connectivity, I personally feel that I belong to the older generation,” said Mr. Toyoda, 66 years old. “For me to take a step back is important.”

Toyoda is not leaving the company for good, his taking a new position as chairman of the board replacing Takeshi Uchiyamada, who held the position since 2013. 

Toyota’s longtime CEO called himself a spokesman for ‘a silent majority’ of people in the auto industry who questioned a single-minded focus on EVs. 

He argued that hybrid gas-electric vehicles like Toyota’s Prius could be just as environmentally friendly, and said other companies were pushing consumers to make a leap into EVs that they might not be ready for, without a charging infrastructure fully in place. 

The old man led the company during the financial crisis, earthquake and a worldwide recall. 

“I believe that in times of crisis, two paths appear before us. One is a path toward short-term success or a quick victory. The other is a path that leads back to the essential qualities and philosophies that gave us strength,” said Toyoda. 

He concludes: “I love making cars. For that reason, I want to be a president who continues to make cars. I would like to show what kind of company Toyota should be through our cars. That’s what I want to do. Cars that are fun to drive and cars that support mobility. And cars in the future will evolve into the concept of mobility itself. Amid such, I hope to preserve the essential value of the car and propose new forms of mobility.”

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