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Toyota Motor shareholders re-elect Akio Toyoda as chairman of the board

The manager had the support of 71.9% of investors, the lowest since 2010, an indicator that shareholders wanted to see changes in the company's management.

Presidente de Toyota, Akio Toyoda

(Cordon Press).

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Toyota Motor shareholders re-elected Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder, as chairman of the board on Tuesday. He had 71.9% support from investors, the lowest since 2010, one year after Toyoda joined the family business:

Toyota investors want change

Hirotaka Uchida, partner of the consulting firm Arthur D. Little, told The New York Times that investors want to see a change in the company and that could explain the low percentage of support for Toyoda, who has been widely criticized for his controversial opinions about electric vehicles:

In the context of corporate Japan, it’s a surprising figure. Shareholders want to see changes made to Toyota’s governance and the level of influence Mr. Toyoda holds within the company. That has been made quite obvious.

The figure is well below the support that his predecessor, Koji Sato, had just a year ago. At that time, Sato had 95.44% of the board's positive votes, 24 percentage points more than this year. The company issued a statement which was reported by Bloomberg claiming that Toyoda’s departure proves that shareholders want the company to head in a new direction:

We received both critical and supportive feedback and questions from attending shareholders regarding not only certification issues but also the return to stakeholders. Moving forward, we will continue to value dialog with our shareholders, sincerely taking their feedback to heart and addressing it.