Top automotive manufacturer of Japan, Toyota Motor Corp has gone a huge staff shuffle on Thursday.  The founder’s grandson and charismatic CEO Akio Toyoda steps down from his post. Mr. Toyoda will now take over as the board’s chairman while Lexus chief, Koji Sato will become the new CEO and President of the car giant.

The newly declared executive changes will be effective from April 1, said the world’s top-selling automaker in a recent statement. 

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Rapid rise of Koji Sato

Sato has been a loyal employee for the corporation since 1992. He graduated from prestigious Waseda University in mechanical engineering. A month after graduation, he joined Toyota as engineer and rose through the ranks to become the chief of Toyota’s Luxury brand, Lexus, in 2020. 

Mr. Sato is being brought in to lead the automaker in a major shift towards clean energy and zero carbon emission. Sato has been known to have achieved Lexus’s first pure-battery electric model in April 2022. He has also worked on Toyota cars powered by green hydrogen fuel cells, a complete zero emission technology. Sato is not only an extraordinary engineer and leader but also an avid car lovers. After the declaration on Thursday, he reportedly said, “ I love making cars, that is why I want to be a president who continues to make cars.”

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Toyoda, whom Sato will be replacing, is himself the grandson of Toyota’s founder Kiichiro Toyoda. He took charge of the company in 2009 and steered the car giant through a quality-control scandal and more. While Sato has proved to be of immense talent and rewarding for Toyota, he nervously accepted the Presidentship after Toyoda personally expressed his trust over him and his team.