There may be some sighing, but there’ll definitely be no more crying by Toyota’s embattled president and CEO Akio Toyoda.
Facing significant pressure in the wake of a worldwide safety crisis that has led to the recall of millions of vehicles – including more than 8 million in the U.S. alone – Toyoda offered his apologies to investors during the annual Toyota Motor Co. shareholders meeting.
Admitting he “might not come back” after a confrontational hearing with U.S. lawmakers, last February, the heir to the automaker’s founding family admitted it was a time of intense stress, during which he “wasn’t able to rest, not even for a minute.”
Toyota shareholders appeared willing to accept the executive’s apologies for the problems that have driven down the automaker’s stock price by more than 20% in recent months.
But one matter seemed to raise the hackles of investors in a nation where the showing of “face” is all-important. During a question-and-answer session, Toyoda was faulted for crying while meeting with Toyota employees after the hearings on Capitol Hill.
“I will try not to cry like that again,” Toyoda responded.