Mon, Mar 31, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Toyota Motor decides to shrink board

NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , TOKYO

Toyota Motor said Friday that it would cut the size of its board in half.

The company will also create a category of executives below the board whose ranks are set to include representatives from its operations outside Japan, as well as younger executives.

Toyota's overhaul, while less extensive than those taken at Japanese companies like Sony and Nissan, reflects the realization of its growing role as a global company.

Toyota's largest market is now the US, which contributes 80 percent of its revenue. Yet, all 58 of Toyota's board members have been Japanese. And unlike American directors, they play dual roles and are often in charge of major company operations, from engineering to marketing to manufacturing.

Under the revised board structure, Toyota will reduce its members to between 20 and 30, bringing the company more in line with what its competitors have done. Honda Motor has 36 directors. Nissan Motor, which is part owned by Renault of France, cut its board by two-thirds in 1999 and will trim it again to seven after a shareholders' meeting in June.

Toyota board members will retain some responsibility for day-to-day operations, however, and the company did not say which executives from its US operations or elsewhere might be named to the new category of managing director.

Toyota also said it will build a US$124 million plant in Jackson, Tennessee, to build engine blocks.

This story has been viewed 2968 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top