By Mark Kleis
Wednesday, Mar 9th, 2011 @ 8:00 am
 
Following previous reports that Toyota Motor Company would be announcing significant global changes to its board of directors, organizational and personnel changes, the automaker has officially announced the changes.

Among the most significant changes made by Toyota was the elimination of 16 members from the board of directors, a change aimed at simplifying the decision making process and reduce the complexity and time required to make high-level decisions. The new board structure consists of a chairman, president, five executive vice presidents and four officers that are responsible for the Business Development Group, Accounting Group and External Affairs Group.

Toyota previously operated under a three-tier executive system that utilized executive vice presidents, chief officers and officers to manage group affairs, but the new system has been streamlined into two tiers with the elimination of the officers previously responsible for group affairs.

While most changes announced by Toyota today involved streamlining by elimination, in regards to regional chief officers Toyota says that the number of executives stationed outside of Japan will actually increase from 13 to 15. While this may seem to go against what Toyota is looking to achieve, Toyota says that the change is intended to streamline the decision making process of localizing management, eliminating the need for some decisions to be sent back to Japan.

Continuing on the theme of increased capability of officers outside of Japan, Toyota says that regional advisory committees will now be established across North America, Europe and in Asia. This move is intended to increase the ability of Toyota to hear local opinions on important matters, effectively decentralizing control.

Although hundreds of personnel changes were listed by Toyota, the most important no doubt is that of Akio Toyoda, who as expected remains the president and representative director of the board of directors.