Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, surprised the automotive world this week by announcing he would resign his position and hand the reins over to Koji Sato, who currently helms the company’s Lexus and Gazoo Racing divisions.
But Toyoda isn’t going far. The 66-year-old isn’t retiring outright, but instead retiring to the boardroom, where he’ll take over the role of chair.
Insiders aren’t expecting Toyoda to be hands-off, either. One executive said that Toyoda was about to embark on a period of “cloister rule,” a period in Japan’s history where the emperor retired to a monastery without actually ceding power.
If that’s the case, then the shakeup in Toyota City might not be much of a shakeup at all.