Toyota head revamps management in battle with GM
Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda overhauled his top management for a second straight year, strengthening his control over the world’s largest carmaker to vie with General Motors Co. (GM) and Volkswagen AG.
Three of Toyoda’s seven executive vice presidents will step down, being replaced by just two people, the Japanese carmaker said in a statement today. Three outsiders will be added to the board, including former GM group Vice President Mark Hogan, the first foreigner on Toyota’s board since 2007.
Takeshi Uchiyamada, vice chairman of Toyota Motor Corp., led Toyota’s development of the Prius — the world’s best-selling gasolineelectric car — before he was promoted to executive vice president in 2005. Fujio Cho, chairman of Toyota Motor Corp., was president of Toyota from 1996 to 2005 before becoming chairman in 2006. He will become honorary chairman.
The changes mean Toyoda, 56, will have replaced all but one of his top lieutenants within a span of two years as he grooms the next generation of leaders at Japan’s largest manufacturer, founded by his grandfather in 1937. While the yen’s 7 percent decline this year is boosting earnings, the company faces a growing challeng from U.S. and European automakers in markets from China to the U.S.