Oh, What a Feeling: Taking Charge at Toyota While It's Losing Money

Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda's grandson, Akio, officially took over as CEO of the world's biggest automaker this week. At his first news conference today, Toyoda acknowledged that he and his management team "are beginning our voyage in a storm.” He's right about that. Like other automakers, Toyota has been rattled by the global economic crisis. The company lost $4.6 billion in 2008 last year and expects an even bigger loss this year. But Toyoda knew what he was getting into; his eventual ascension to the top spot was first reported in December. In an article titled "Biggest by Default: Toyota May Be Number One, But It Still Faces Challenges," Knowledge at Wharton described the difficult road ahead.