Toyota President Expected to Step Down in 2009

Joshua Duval
Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe is expected to quit sometime next year. Toyota officials contacted by Automotive News would not comment on the report.

Watanabe would take on the role of chairman for Toyota, a mostly ceremonial role currently held by Fujio Cho. According to the Wall Street Journal, Cho is suffering from health problems.

Despite Toyota's projected operating loss for 2008, and a good chance that 2009 will treat it no better, the automakers performance is not cited as a reason for Watanabe's departure. Toyota is expecting a 150 billion yen ($1.7 billion) annual operating loss for the fiscal year ending in March, a first for the company. It posted a record profit of 2.27 trillion yen (over $25 billion) last year.

Source: Wall Street Journal via Automotive News

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