Akio Toyoda Steps Down as Toyota President, Takes on Role of Chairman

Akio Toyoda, the current president, and chief executive of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp, announced his resignation from the top job in April 2021. He will be succeeded by the company’s top branding officer. 

The businessman has been at the company’s helm for nearly 14 years and has overseen many key events and milestones in Toyota’s history. 

As the 66-year-old grandson of the company’s founder, Toyoda has played a significant role in leading the company to become one of the biggest and most successful automobile makers in the world. 

During his tenure, the company has seen steady growth in revenue and has expanded its global reach, solidifying its position as a leading player in the industry. 

Additionally, the CEO has also been instrumental in driving the company’s commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices and has been a vocal advocate for the development of electric vehicles. 

As he steps down from the top job, Toyoda will take on the role of chairman, where he will continue to be involved in the company’s direction and strategy.

Toyoda Tenure

During his tenure, Toyoda has overseen the development and launch of several popular models, such as the Toyota Prius hybrid, the RAV4 compact SUV, and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle. 

He has also pushed for the company to focus on sustainable mobility, with a goal to have electrified vehicles make up more than half of Toyota’s global sales by 2025.

In addition, Toyoda has emphasized the importance of investing in new technologies, such as autonomous driving and connected cars, as well as expanding Toyota’s presence in emerging markets.

However, Toyoda’s tenure has also seen its share of controversies and challenges. In 2010, Toyota faced massive recalls of millions of vehicles worldwide due to issues with unintended acceleration, which resulted in fines and settlements. 

The company also had to navigate a strong yen, natural disasters, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the entire industry.

Despite these challenges, Toyoda has been credited with leading Toyota through difficult times and keeping the company financially stable. Under his leadership, Toyota has remained one of the world’s largest and most profitable automakers.

Now, as Toyoda steps down as president, he will become chairman of the company, and hand over the reins to the company’s top branding officer, who will take the lead in continuing Toyota’s growth and success in the years to come.

Setbacks and Breakthroughs

Despite these challenges, Toyoda was able to lead Toyota through the crisis and restore the company’s reputation. 

He implemented a number of changes to improve the company’s safety and quality processes, including increasing investment in research and development and hiring more engineers to focus on safety and quality control.

Under his leadership, Toyota also shifted its focus to developing more fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles, such as hybrid and electric cars. This move helped the company stay competitive in the global market and meet stricter emissions regulations.

In addition to these efforts, Toyoda also placed an emphasis on the importance of innovation and creativity within the company. He encouraged employees to think outside the box and come up with new ideas, resulting in the development of new technologies and features in Toyota’s cars.

Despite the challenges he faced, Toyoda was able to steer Toyota through the crisis and bring the company back to profitability. 

He leaves behind a legacy of strong leadership and a renewed focus on safety, quality, and innovation. As he moves into the role of chairman, Toyota is well-positioned for future success.

Wheel of the Company

Under Toyoda’s leadership, Toyota has continued to focus on innovation and diversification in the face of changing industry trends. He has been a vocal advocate for hydrogen fuel cell technology, while also investing in the development of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Despite these efforts, Toyota has faced criticism for not moving fast enough to adopt electric vehicles and some have argued that the company’s focus on hydrogen technology has been a misstep.

Toyoda has defended the company’s strategy, stating that “playing to win means playing with all the cards in the deck – not just a select few. 

So that’s our strategy and we’re sticking to it.” He has also compared Toyota to a “department store” selling a variety of vehicles to customers with different needs, and said its corporate vision “is to provide freedom of mobility for all…and we don’t want to leave anyone behind.”

Despite these challenges, Toyota has remained one of the world’s largest and most successful automakers under Toyoda’s leadership. However, with the rise of new competitors such as Tesla, it will be interesting to see how the company adapts and evolves in the coming years.

Toyoda announced that he would resign from the top job in April to become chairman, handing over the reins to the company’s top branding officer.

The president, the 66-year-old grandson of the company’s founder, took the helm of the company in June 2009 and faced a number of challenges during his tenure. 

Leave a comment