Akio Toyoda Cover

Toyota announced on January 26, 2023, that Akio Toyoda will be stepping down from the CEO and president position and will be taking on the role of chairman from April 1. Replacing Akio Toyoda as CEO is the current Lexus International president and Toyota’s top branding officer, Koji Sato.

Koji Sato

Current Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada will be stepping down from his role but will remain on the board while Sato will take over the responsibility of being Toyota’s CEO. This will mark the first time since 2009 that Toyota has had a new chief executive. Since Akio Toyoda’s contributions to Toyota are by no means small, like keeping Toyota at the top of its game in the face of a changing market. Koji Sato has a lot of work ahead of him.

“I thought the best way to further Toyota’s transformation would be for me to become Chairman in support of a new President, and this has led to today’s decision.”

In a webcast, Toyoda shared his sentiments about leading the car brand for the last 13 years, divulging that his 13-year tenure as president was never peaceful, and was a matter of surviving day after day.

Toyoda added that he believes that stepping down and letting a new president lead Toyota is what’s best to continue Toyota’s evolution as a company, explaining his decision to take a more relaxed role in the company.

The 66-year-old Akio Toyoda will leave behind a colorful legacy. When Toyoda first entered the office he strived to keep his promise to make Toyota everyone’s “Aisha” a Japanese word meaning “favorite car”. Under his leadership, Toyota brought back legacy nameplates like the Supra and Toyota 86, and revamped the Corolla and Crown nameplates to much acclaim.

Whatever his next move may be, Akio Toyoda otherwise known by his racing pseudonym Morizo Kinoshita has cemented his legacy on the Japanese brand.

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