Driving enthusiast Toyoda moving to new role
GR President Sato to take over Toyota
The head of Toyota is stepping down. Akio Toyoda, the grandson of company founder Kiichiro Toyoda, has been the CEO since 2009. He is also the company president and COO.
Toyoda will be stepping down effective April 1st, set to be replaced by current Lexus President and Toyota Chief Branding Officer Koji Sato. Toyoda will remain with the company as chairman of the board of directors.
Akio Toyoda joined Toyota Motor in 1984, after graduating with a degree in law and an MBA. He has worked in production, marketing, and product development with the automaker, and was an executive VP with the GM/Toyota joint venture in California.
Toyoda is also the company official responsible for Toyota’s recent focus on fun to drive. After learning the joys of driving on the circuit, Toyoda took to wheel-to-wheel racing under the alias Morizo and has raced at the Nurburgring 24 Hours and other top-level motorsports events.
It’s that time racing that lead to cars like the GR Corolla and the return of the 86 and Supra.
If you’re worried about Toyota returning to dull early 2000s vehicles without Toyoda at the helm, don’t be. Sato, Toyoda’s successor, is also currently the president of Gazoo Racing. Toyota’s high-performance arm. So the future of fun Toyotas should be in safe hands.