Toyota boss Akio Toyoda to step down

Akio Toyoda, the boss of automotive giant Toyota, is to step down from his role as president and chief executive offer as part of a restructuring at the firm.

Akio, 66, is the grandson of Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Motors, and has been the man in charge of one of the world’s largest automotive firms since 2009, after spending his career in various roles at the Japanese firm.

Announced today (January 26) in Toyota City, Japan, the changes affecting those at the top of the firm will come into effect on April 1.

Though Toyoda will step down as president and chief executive, he will assume the role as chairman. The current chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, will become a board member.

A range of new EVs are due to be launched by Toyota and Lexus in the coming years. (Toyota)
A range of new EVs are due to be launched by Toyota and Lexus in the coming years. (Toyota)

Taking over Toyoda’s role as the leader of Toyota is Koji Sato, 53, who is currently chief branding officer, as well as president of Toyota’s premium Lexus brand and its Gazoo motorsport activities.

The new boss of Toyota has a tough task ahead as the brand tries to revitalise itself for an electric era, something that it has been slow to act on. Though there are plans for 30 new Toyota and Lexus EVs to arrive by 2030, currently Toyota and Lexus only have one electric car each on sale, lagging behind many competitor brands.

Sato is also tasked with transforming Toyota into a mobility brand as part of a wider automotive push to offer a more diverse range of vehicles and transport solutions.