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Akio Toyoda

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Akio Toyoda
Toyoda in 2011
Born (1956-05-03) 3 May 1956 (age 68)
Nagoya, Japan
Other namesMorizo Kinoshita
Alma materKeio University
Babson College (MBA)
Occupation(s)Chairman, Toyota
ParentShoichiro Toyoda

Akio Toyoda (豊田 章男, Toyoda Akio, born 3 May 1956) is a Japanese business executive who is the chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation. He was previously the company's president and chief executive officer (CEO).[1] Toyoda is a great-grandson of the industrialist, Sakichi Toyoda, and a grandson of both the founder of Toyota Motors, Kiichiro Toyoda, and the founder of the Takashimaya department stores corporation, Shinshichi Iida.

On 1 April 2023, Toyoda stepped down as Toyota president and became chairman of the board.[2] Toyota's chief branding officer and president of the Lexus division, Koji Sato, succeeded Toyoda as CEO.

Early life and education[edit]

Toyoda is the great-grandson of the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works founder Sakichi Toyoda, and grandson of Toyota Motor Corporation founder Kiichiro Toyoda. He was born 3 May 1956, in Nagoya, to Shoichiro Toyoda and Hiroko (née Mitsui). Toyoda's family line have long dominated the upper management of the family businesses since the days his carpenter-farmer great-great-grandfather, Ikichi Toyoda, taught his son fabrication and carpentry. Akio Toyoda was the chief contender for the family business when Katsuaki Watanabe was reassigned as Vice-Chairman in the wake of the quality control crisis.[3][4]

Toyoda completed his undergraduate degree in law at Keio University and was awarded his Masters of Finance at Babson College, Massachusetts.[5][6][7] He would join the family business in 1984.


As grandson of the company's founder, Toyoda joined Toyota's board of directors in 2000.[8] In 2005, Toyoda was promoted to the position of executive vice president.[9] In January 2009, it was announced that Toyoda was chosen as the forthcoming president of the company.[10] On 23 June 2009, he was confirmed as the new president, along with four new executive vice presidents and eight new board members.[11][12] The previous president and CEO Katsuaki Watanabe became vice chairman, replacing Katsuhiro Nakagawa.[13]

In 2012, he was named Autocar's Man of the Year.[14]

Master driver "Morizo"[edit]

As an avid auto racing fan and driver himself, Toyoda has participated in several auto races under the pseudonym Morizo Kinoshita.[15] At the 2009 24 Hours of Nürburgring, he finished 81st overall and third in class in a Lexus IS F, and 87th overall and fourth in class with a Lexus LF-A.[16][17] At the 2014 24 Hours of Nürburgring, he finished 13th overall and first in class with a Lexus LF-A.[18] At the 2019 24 Hours of Nürburgring, he finished 40th overall and third in class with a Toyota GR Supra GT4.

In 2016, Toyoda approved the project that would result in the GR Yaris; during the development of that car, Toyoda (as Morizo) served as a test driver. Morizo crashed the first test car during a mid-winter test drive at a Hokkaido track; after exiting the car on his own, he remarked that he did not "like the feel of it". As Morizo, Toyoda continued to drive development prototypes, and since the car's release, has campaigned the car in races.[19]

Toyota global recalls and Congressional Statement[edit]

The brand new Toyota Yaris World Rally Car, set to compete in the 2017 WRC season, at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. On the left is Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, next to four time World Rally Drivers' Champion Tommi Mäkinen

In the wake of massive global recalls ballooning to 8.5 million vehicles, Toyoda was invited to testify before the U.S. Congress on 17 February 2010,[20] which he accepted. A week later, he issued a prepared statement to the Congress.[21] He focused on three key issues: Toyota's basic philosophy regarding quality control, the cause of the recalls, and "how we will manage quality control going forward".[22] On 24 February 2010, accompanied by president and COO of Toyota Motor North America, Yoshimi Inaba, Toyoda testified before the House of Representatives' Oversight and Government Reform Committee. As the scion of a family known for their contributions to automated manufacturing, Toyoda was personally affected by the quality control crises.[23] In his comments he is quoted as being "deeply sorry" and highlighted the relations between Toyota vehicles in the United States and Americans for fifty years.[24]

Future direction of Toyota[edit]

At a press event held on 14 December 2021, where Toyota unveiled multiple concept cars with battery electric drivetrains, Toyoda was asked how he felt about BEVs, given the company's prior emphasis on emissions reduction and elimination through hybrid and hydrogen vehicles. Toyoda responded both as chair and master driver: "Of course I supported BEVs in terms of business, but the question was whether I was supporting them as driver Morizo. ... I think we are now at a point where we can develop safer and faster vehicles with more fun-to-drive aspects. I look forward to developing such BEVs as well moving forward."[25]

Family tree[edit]



  1. ^ Toyoda New President Archived 14 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine CNN
  2. ^ "Toyota names new CEO as Akio Toyoda steps down". CNN. 26 January 2023. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  3. ^ Shirouzu, Norihiko and John Murphy. "Toyota to Change Leader Amid Global Sales Slump," Wall Street Journal. 24 December 2008.
  4. ^ Kubo, Nobuhiro and Chang-Ran Kim. "Toyota confirms Akio Toyoda as New President," Archived 5 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine Reuters (UK). 23 June 2009, retrieved 20111-04-22
  5. ^ "Toyota USA Newsroom". Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Notable Alumni". Archived from the original on 3 April 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Alma mater matters: Why Babson College is Toyota's special partner". Automotive News. 2 June 2014. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Akio Toyoda" (profile), Forbes (US). Retrieved 22 April 2011
  9. ^ Hasegawa, Yōzō. (2010). Rediscovering Japanese Business Leadership, p. 173., p. 173, at Google Books
  10. ^ Rowley, Ian. "It's Official: Toyota Scion to Be New Chief," Archived 24 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine Business Week. 20 January 2009.
  11. ^ Chartered Management Institute blog: "Akio Toyoda to Continue the Toyota Way," Archived 19 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine 23 June 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2011
  12. ^ Davis, River (24 June 2023). "The Tearful Executive Who Tapped the Brakes on Electric Cars at Toyota". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  13. ^ "Toyota Names Akio Toyoda as Next President," Archived 28 March 2019 at the Wayback Machine UPI (US). 9 January 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  14. ^ "Akio Toyoda named Autocar Man of the Year". Autocar. Archived from the original on 6 January 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Toyota-Chef startet im Lexus LF-A". sport auto. 22 May 2009. Archived from the original on 16 September 2010.
  16. ^ "37. ADAC Zurich 24h Rennen" (PDF). Nürburgring result. 24 May 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 May 2012.
  17. ^ "Results 24h Nürburgring". Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  18. ^ "42. ADAC Zurich 24h Rennen Official Result" (PDF). ADAC 24h-Rennen.
  19. ^ "How Toyota's president helped develop the GR Yaris from the driver's seat". The Japan Times. 24 May 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Toyota 'prince' needs to steer company in crisis". NBC News. 21 February 2010. Archived from the original on 3 April 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Toyota president Akio Toyoda's statement to Congress," Archived 3 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian (UK). 24 February 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2011
  22. ^ "Toyota president Akio Toyoda's statement to Congress". TheGuardian.com. 24 February 2010. Archived from the original on 3 February 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  23. ^ "Toyota president testifies before Congress - CNN.com". CNN. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  24. ^ Raum, Tom and Ken Thomas. "Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda To Congress: 'I'm Deeply Sorry'," Archived 8 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Huffington Post (US). 24 February 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2011; "Toyota president testifies before Congress," Archived 22 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine CNN (US). 24 February 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2011
  25. ^ "'Do you like battery EVs?' Akio Toyoda's Response" (Press release). Toyota Times. 21 December 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2022.


  • Hasegawa, Yōzō. (2010). Rediscovering Japanese Business Leadership: 15 Japanese Managers and the Companies They're Leading to New Growth. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley. ISBN 9780470824955; OCLC 435422498
Business positions
Preceded by CEO of Toyota
Succeeded by
Koji Sato