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Management Shake-Up at Toyota Increases Role of U.S. Execs

Lentz running North American ops; former GM exec Hogan joins Toyota board.

by on Mar.06, 2013

From sales to manufacturing, Toyota's Jim Lentz will now run all operations in the Americas.

In an unexpected announcement, Toyota has announced a major shake-up in its global management structure that will significantly increase the role of the North American market – and senior U.S. executives, in particular.

The realignment positions Jim Lentz, who has been the top American executive at the giant Japanese maker, as its number one boss for all of North America. Meanwhile, the current U.S. head of the Lexus luxury brand will now become managing officer for Lexus International. And Mark Hogan, a former General Motors senior executive, will become the first American ever on the 76-year-old Toyota Motor Co.’s board of directors.

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“These changes will help us to achieve sustainable growth and realize our global vision by giving more responsibility to each region, including our North and South American operations, so that they may develop and deliver even better products and offer the best service to our customers,” declared Akio Toyoda, TMC’s global chief executive and grandson of the maker’s founder.


Management Shake-Up Coming at Toyota

Major reduction planned for board and senior executive ranks, say reports.

by on Feb.15, 2011

Toyota may slash its upper management ranks.

In the wake of a year of crisis that saw the Japanese giant pay record fines to the U.S. government, recall 11 million vehicles and face the wrath of Congress, Toyota is reportedly planning a major shake-up in its senior management roles.

The maker to reduce the size of board of directors by nearly 40%, from 27 members to 17, according to various sources.  Toyota also will make sharp cuts in the number of managing directors, executive directors and possibly other senior positions.

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The move appears to be motivated by a variety of factors: first, to make the company more lean and nimble and speed up the decision-making process.  Toyota paid a record $48.8 million in fines levied by U.S. regulators, last year, because of delays in responding to safety defects.  Insiders blame that, at least in part, to the company’s oversized bureaucracy.

But the cuts may also be part of a strategy by Toyota President Akio Toyoda – grandson of the company founder – to purge powerful elements within the automaker’s upper ranks that had resisted his policies.