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Toyota CEO Steps Down to Make Way for Lexus Chief

The 66-year-old CEO of Toyota is stepping down from the role he’s held since 2009.

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Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Akio Toyoda, the chief executive officer of
Motor Corp. and the grandson of the company’s founder, will step down from his role at the end of March, the Japanese car maker said Thursday.

Koji Sato, 53, will take over as CEO on April 1. Sato is currently the head of luxury unit Lexus and the company’s chief branding officer.

Toyoda will become chairman of the company, and current chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada will remain on the board of directors but drop the chairman title. 

Toyoda, 66, has led the company since 2009. It has been a period of rapid change in the industry as electric vehicles became more prominent. Toyota pioneered hybrid cars with its Prius model, but has been criticized for moving too slowly toward all-electric vehicles.

Toyota’s U.S.-traded shares rose 0.8% in the premarket to $147.36.

Write to Brian Swint at


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