Toyota selected Koji Sato as its next president, CEO, and operational officer on Thursday, succeeding its third-generation CEO Akio Toyoda, who will step down as board chairman.
The Japanese carmaker, which sells more cars than any other company in the world right now, said in a statement that the changes to its management structure will start on April 1.
In 2009, when the company went back to its family roots after the global financial crisis, Toyoda, who was 66 at the time, became its youngest president.
He is the grandson of Kiichiro Toyoda, the company’s founder. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, his father, Shoichiro Toyoda, was also in charge of Toyota.
After a rough start, he proved himself to be a charismatic leader who could guide the car industry through a time of huge change.
He led the business through a quality-control issue that forced him to apologise in front of the US Congress, as well as supply chain turmoil triggered by Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
He has recently tried to improve Toyota’s objectives in the critical electric car market.
Sato, who is 53 years old, used to be the company’s head of branding and the head of the Lexus premium brand.