Succession plan

Word is that Toyota Motor Corp.’s next president will be Katsuaki Watanabe, succeeding Fujio Cho:

Naming a disciplined former plant manager as president would underscore the issues facing Toyota as it seeks to expand globally. Toyota has launched an ambitious drive to ramp up production and sales world-wide in a bid to grab 15% global market share and unseat General Motors Corp. as the world’s largest automobile producer.

Choosing Mr. Watanabe, one of six executive vice presidents at Toyota, would go a long way toward reassurance that growth won’t come at the expense of quality. And thus, many insiders are optimistic about his chances of keeping Toyota on the growth track.

Mr. Watanabe has years of experience running factories and in other areas that are considered crucial to Toyota’s success in its bid to grab more global share without losing quality.

From the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

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