Akio Toyoda Was A “Terrible Person” At 20 Years Old

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If we talk about the leaders of the automotive industry around the world, Akio Toyoda will definitely be listed as one of the most famous. The outgoing CEO of Toyota has led the company for more than a decade, leading the Japanese automaker to become one of the best in the world today.

During a New Year’s ceremony in Japan led by Akio Toyoda himself, the new chairman of the board spoke about the challenges facing the company in 2022 and expressed his gratitude to everyone who supported the company. For the record, Toyota retains its crown as the world’s best-selling automaker in 2022 despite last year’s setback.

About 500 employees gathered at the Toyota City headquarters in Aichi Prefecture on January 10. Messages for household employees are delivered remotely to accommodate those who cannot fill the space.

There was also a question and answer session, and one question from the 20 year old Toyota employee was candidly answered by the renowned automotive executive.

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In a Q&A, the staff member asked Toyoda about his experiences when he was his age. Toyoda admits that he was a bad person at the time, who was just playing sports and was impudent, and was impolite in words and actions during games.

However, there were people who helped him grow and he was grateful for that. Toyoda believed that young people should be given the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. He wants senior employees to help others, participate in building the future, and inspire young people to do the same. Toyoda encourages staff members to have a lot of experience now so that when he wants to help others, he will have the resources.

There are other lessons and pieces of advice shared during the ceremony, which you can watch in the video embedded above (turn on subtitles for English).

Toyoda has been president and CEO of Toyota for the last 13 years, but that will end this year as he will step down on April 1, 2023. He will take on the role of chairman of the company’s board. Koji Sato, Toyota’s current chief branding officer, international president of Lexus, and head of Gazoo Racing, will replace Toyoda as the new CEO.

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