Mike Stevens | Jan 10, 2009

Akio Toyoda, grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda, is expected to be voted in as president of Toyota Motor Corporation by the company’s board. Associated Press has reported that the 52 year-old Toyoda will take over from current president Katsuaki Watanabe in June, following the news that Toyota is facing its first projected operating loss in 71 years.

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The ascendance of Akio Toyoda to the company’s presidency will mark the first time in 14 years that a Toyoda has sat in the top spot at the world’s biggest automaker. If Akio’s reputation for a more relaxed attitude than the typical Japanese executive is anything to go by, Toyota’s future may be all the more brighter. If nothing else, it should ensure that the LF-A becomes a reality.

Watanabe is expected to drop a couple of chairs down to vice-chairman, while current chairman Fujio Cho will hold his spot. Toyoda’s move to president is a promotion from executive vice president – a position he has held since 2005.

[AP]

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