TOKYO — Didier Leroy, the top non-Japanese executive at Toyota Motor Corp., is stepping back as part of the company’s new push to flatten management and cultivate younger talent.
Leroy, 62, who is an executive vice president and chief competitive officer, will give up those titles April 1 but stay on the board of directors, at least through Toyota’s annual shareholders meeting in June. A new slate of directors will be voted on then but has not been announced.
The Frenchman also will remain as chairman of Toyota’s European operations. But his reduced profile, along with the retirement of North America CEO Jim Lentz at the end of March, diminishes the input of non-Japanese officers at the top echelons of Japan’s biggest carmaker. Lentz will be succeeded in North America by his current deputy, Tetsuo Ogawa.
After the reorganization, the only non-Japanese operating officer will be Johan van Zyl, who remains CEO of Europe. Also in positions of power are Gill Pratt, CEO of the…