MAY 18, 2009
A revolution coming at Toyota?
The word from Japan is that the Toyota Motor Company is about to announce a massive restructuring, following the loss of $7.7bn in the first quarter of the year. It is said that 40% of the senior management of the company will be dropped when new chief executive Akio Toyoda takes control on June 1. He will be the first member of the firm's founding family to have the top job for 14 years, but will be the sixth to hold that position. It is felt within the family that the company has drifted away from its traditional values in the last few years and the change in management is designed to alter the way of thinking within the empire. There are 30 members of the Toyota board of directors, but more than half of them are over 60. Tadashi Yamashina, the head of the motorsport division, is on the board but is one of the younger generation at 57. He says that he has the support of Toyoda for the company to continue in F1 but he admits that things could change given the current state of the automobile markets of the world. Things will become clearer after Toyoda takes control.