Toyota’s chief executive Akio Toyoda unexpectedly announced last month that he needed to step down as “an old-fashioned car guy” whose limitations in an increasingly digital and electric industry were being exposed, only to reveal his replacement would be his close disciple Koji Sato, another executive described as a regular “car lover”. With the world’s leading automaker falling behind electric vehicle manufacturers due to its reluctant embrace of the technology, it was little wonder Toyota’s biggest leadership change in 14 years failed to impress analysts or investors, with its share price failing to pop on the news. Sato, 53, is currently head of the premium Lexus brand and will replace Toyoda, 66, as president and chief executive on April 1, with the latter becoming chair.
The world’s largest carmaker makes reliable hybrids but lags far behind in zero emissions technology
The giant automaker's new top executive may attempt to transform it into a more dynamic company. But radical change isn't a sure thing.