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Toyota CEO to Step Down, Making Space for an Electric Future for Automaker

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Toyota Motor Corp. CEO Akio Toyoda will step down as the head of the global car maker on April 1, the company announced today. He will be replaced by Koji Sato, current Chief Branding Officer and head of Toyota’s Lexus division and the GAZOO racing company since 2020.

Deanna Noël, campaigns director for Public Citizen’s Climate Program, issued the following statement: 

“This change of leadership appears to signal Toyota knows it’s far behind on EVs and must rush to remake itself. Mr. Sato has pushed electrification, having committed Toyota’s Lexus division to manufacture 100% ZEVs by 2030 in the U.S., EU, and China, and by 2035 globally. He should make the same commitment for Toyota immediately.

“Along with committing to a 100% ZEV future, Mr. Sato must reverse Toyota’s anti-climate lobbying and commit the company to clean up its supply chain and protect human rights. Without a clean, fossil free, and equitable supply chain, ZEVs will fall far short of meeting climate imperatives.”