World News

Toyota names new finance chief in executive shake-up

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> named Kenta Kon as its next chief financial officer on Tuesday and said it would scrap executive vice president (EVP) roles as part of a drive to streamline the company’s structure, improve production systems and cut costs.

Kon, who is currently chief accounting officer, will take on the company’s No. 2 position in April, the Japanese automaker said in a statement.

Under the new structure, Toyota said it would scrap its six EVP positions, first introduced at the company in 1982, with current EVP roles becoming chief operating officer responsibilities. Four of the six EVPs will largely keep their existing roles without the EVP title.

It is the latest in a series of structural changes at Toyota, one of the world’s largest automakers, which is trying to simplify its operations to become more nimble to compete with rivals in developing electric vehicles, self-driving cars and other new technologies.

“I have judged that it is necessary for me to directly communicate with the leaders of the next generation and to increase the amount of time for sharing our concerns, by further reducing the number of layers of management,” President Akio Toyoda said.

The automaker said EVPs Didier Leroy and Moritaka Yoshida would resign from their posts. Leroy will keep his position as Europe chairman, and stay on as a company director through June.

Current CFO Koji Kobayashi will keep his role as chief risk officer.

(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Mark Potter)