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Father of Prius hybrid set to become Toyota chairman: Execs

Published on Jan 22, 2013 11:16 AM

BEIJING/TOKYO (REUTERS) - The man who led the development of Toyota Motor Corp's Prius hybrid car is set to become the Japanese automaker's chairman as early as this year, said two senior executives familiar with the matter, in a boardroom shuffle that should do little to lessen president Akio Toyoda's grip.

A final decision to appoint MR Takeshi Uchiyamada, 66, to what is effectively the No.2 position in many Japanese firms has not yet been made and the promotion could still be postponed for a year.

But it's already been an "established direction" and a"given" since last year that Uchiyamada, vice chairman since June, would replace Mr Fujio Cho, who has been chairman since 2006, said the executives, who didn't want to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

A Toyota spokesman declined to comment.

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