After 14 years at the helm, Akio Toyoda announced he will step down as CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation on April 1. He will be succeeded by President of Lexus and GR, Koji Sato.
Toyoda who will take over the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors from Takeshi Uchiyamada. Toyoda is the grandson of Kiichiro Toyoda who founded the company in 1937.
Since taking the helm in 2009, he has been responsible for numerous revolutionary projects. Toyoda has focused on a variety of solutions that include hybridization and hydrogen.
Sato joined the company as an engineer in 1992. Toyoda believes his young age of 53 makes him better suited for the position to guide the brand into a new future.
Toyoda's decision is not a surprise as he has hinted at this decision throughout the last year. Sato expressed his shock at the appointment and initially believed it to be a joke.