Section 2. Launch of New Management Systems
Item 1. Making "Ever-Better Cars"
Tentative Decisions concerning Senior Management Posts
It was while TMC was confronting the crisis of an unavoidable large loss for the fiscal year ended March 2009 (ended March 2010) that it announced a new senior management lineup on January 20, 2009. Executive Vice President Akio Toyoda was made president and President Katsuaki Watanabe became vice chairman. Chairman Fujio Cho and Vice Chairman Kazuo Okamoto remained in office, and the new team took office following the general shareholders meeting in late June.
Chairman Cho, President Watanabe, and Executive Vice President Toyoda held a press conference at the Tokyo Head Office the same day following announcement of the tentative decisions. Chairman Cho explained Executive Vice President Toyoda's promotion to president: "During these turbulent times, it is crucial that we implement major reforms, while returning to our founding origins of always putting the customer first and genchi genbutsu (going to the source to find the facts). I am confident that Executive Vice President Toyoda, with his extensive experience in a wide range of fields both in Japan and overseas as well as his new perspectives and youthful thinking is ideally suited for the position of president during these difficult times."
Executive Vice President Toyoda commented, "I feel a deep sense of responsibility in taking over a major role in determining Toyota's course of action during this unprecedented crisis, which is said to be a once-in-a-century occurrence", and he announced his determination to "implement bold reforms from broad perspectives." When asked how he saw himself as president, he explained that he "hopes to be the president closest to the production site" in order to effect a return to the company's founding origins.