Toyota’s Katsuaki Watanabe to step down as president next year

According to The Wall Street Journal, Toyota’s President Katsuaki Watanabe is expected to step down next year and become chairman. Sources familiar with the matter said that the move doesn’t indicate change in the strategic direction of the company, but stems largely from the health of Watanabe.

It was announced yesterday that Watanabe will not be present at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit Next month.

Speculations have begun that Toyota will promote Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota’s founder, to president in April. Toyota later denied the report made by Bloomberg earlier this morning.

Source: WSJ and Detroit News