Akio Toyoda has announced that he is stepping down as CEO of Toyota.
Toyoda, grandson of Toyota’s founder Kiichiro Toyoda, has held the role of CEO for 13 years, but will now hand the reins over to Koji Sato who has been heading up Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division as well as the Lexus brand.
But while Toyoda might be stepping down from his CEO role, he’s not leaving the company completely.
He is taking on a new role as chairman of the board of directors, replacing Takeshi Uchiyamada who is retiring.
Toyoda has been an active World Rally Championship fan and therefore key supporter of Toyota’s WRC program, and conducted a demonstration in a Rally2 GR Yaris in Japan last year.
Toyoda’s decision to step down is believed to be due to his vision not aligning with the future direction of the automotive industry.
The change will be effective from April 1.