Editor's note: A previous headline on this story misspelled the name Inaba.
Toyota Motor Corp. is bringing back Yoshi Inaba, the former U.S. sales chief who left the automaker to run an airport. His return will be approved at the annual shareholders meeting in June, spokesman Irv Miller said today.
That meeting also will approve Akio Toyoda, grandson of the companys founder, as Toyotas new president. He is expected to shake up the automakers management ranks as the company struggles to cope with its first operating loss in 71 years.
Inabas job assignment isnt known yet, Miller said. Inaba, who spent two tours of duty in the United States before heading North American operations out of Japan, will oversee some North American projects, Bloomberg News reported, citing spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi.
Toyotas sales of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles in the United States fell 15.4 percent in 2008 to 2,217,660. They tumbled 31.7 percent in January.
Toyota has been hurt by the general market meltdown in North America, as well as an ill-timed push into full-sized pickups. A surging yen has slashed profits on its North American sales as well.
Inaba, 62, was CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. from 1999 to 2003. While CEO, he added the Scion line to Toyotas lineup. From 2003, he oversaw North American operations from headquarters in Toyota City for several years before taking charge of Toyotas China operations.
He left in 2007 to run an international airport in Nagoya, Japan, near Toyotas headquarters. Inabas return to Toyota became public knowledge after the airport announced his successor.