Toyota leader says US recalls made a career turning point image

Akio Toyoda, in a rare public moment of reflection on the past woes of the company he leads, said he wishes the unintended-acceleration recall crisis never existed, but nevertheless proved to be a positive turning point for his career.

The worldwide reactions also had him fear he could lose the position as chief executive officer of the world’s largest automaker, “I was resigned to the possibility my presidency could end soon, making my tenure as president a very short one,” commented Toyoda. At that time, he had assumed the position for less than a year. “I felt I wouldn’t last another year as president,” he added, discussing the matter during Toyota’s largest gathering with individual investors on record. The event is an integral part of the strategy the chief executive officer and president has devised to sell the upcoming corporate restructuring inside the company, as he needs the backing of both the public and shareholders. The roadshow took place this Sunday in Nagoya, Japan and included a chat with a Japanese television newscaster, in which the executive confided numerous insights – a rare moment for the grandson of the man who founded the company and gave his name (slightly modified) to the top carmaker on the planet.

If anyone’s interested, here are some personal insights into his life: he uses an “oxygen capsule” to get rid of the jetlag he has to cope during his numerous travels; when he was a child, he had no idea what his father did at the job and imagined himself a taxi driver when growing up; his blood type is “A” and in Japan they are believed to show the personality – he should be ambitious, conscientious and perfectionist.

Via Automotive News Europe