TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday its president and chief executive officer Akio Toyoda will become chairman effective April 1.

Kouji Sato, chief branding officer, will become the new CEO, Toyota said. Representative director Takeshi Uchiyamada will drop his chairman title.

The Japanese automaker will hold a news conference at 4 p.m. (7 a.m. GMT) to explain the leadership reshuffle.

At the shareholder meeting in June last year, Toyoda said he was “thinking about timing and the selection of a successor” when asked about succession planning.

(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)