The brand said the executive moves are designed to further its mobility transformation.  -  Photo: Toyota

The brand said the executive moves are designed to further its mobility transformation.

Photo: Toyota

Toyota’s North American operations (TMNA) announced a slew of executive leadership changes on June 6. According to the announcement, the changes are "designed to continue driving growth, fostering strong dealer and customer relations, achieving carbon neutrality goals, and becoming the mobility company of choice for consumers."

The following changes are effective June 20, 2022, unless otherwise noted. 

Corporate Resources and Manufacturing

Changes include a retirement and cascading backfills. Information Systems Solutions and Technology is transitioned from Digital Transformation and Mobility (DTM) to Corporate Resources, creating structural changes and new positions.

  • Tracey Doi, group vice president and chief financial officer, TMNA, will retire effective August 1.
  • Tim Ingle, group vice president, Enterprise Strategy, TMNA, will succeed Doi and is promoted to group vice president and CFO, reporting to Chris Reynolds, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Corporate Resources, TMNA.
  • Laura Pierce, vice president, Revenue Management and Product Profitability, TMNA, will succeed Ingle and is promoted to group vice president, Enterprise Strategy, reporting to Ingle.
  • Jason Reid, vice president, Manufacturing Project Innovation Center (MPIC), TMNA, will succeed Pierce as vice president, Revenue Management and Product Profitability, reporting to Ingle.
  • Natalie Wilkinson, general manager, North American Production Center, Strategic Business Management, TMNA, will succeed Reid and is promoted to vice president, MPIC. Wilkinson will report to Stephen Brennan, group vice president, Vehicle Production Engineering, TMNA.
  • Sandra Phillips Rogers, group vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel and chief diversity officer, TMNA, is promoted to a newly created position of senior vice president, corporate resources and general counsel, TMNA. In this role, Phillips Rogers will take on the added responsibilities of Corporate Shared Services, Toyota de Mexico, and continues leading the teams from Legal, Sustainability & Regulatory Affairs, and Social Innovation. In addition, Jacqueline Thomas, group vice president and chief compliance officer, Compliance and Audit Office, TMNA, will continue to report directly to Ted Ogawa, chief executive officer, TMNA, and have a dotted-line responsibility to Phillips Rogers, who will continue to report to Reynolds.
  • Sean Suggs, group vice president and chief social innovation officer, Social Innovation, TMNA, takes on the new position of president, Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC). In this new role, Suggs will be responsible for the operations of the company’s future battery plant in North Carolina. Suggs will report to Norm Bafunno, senior vice president, Unit Manufacturing and Engineering, TMNA.
  • Tellis Bethel, vice president, Voluntary Protection Products, Toyota Financial Services (TFS), will succeed Suggs and is promoted to group vice president and chief social innovation officer, Social Innovation, TMNA. Bethel will report to Phillips Rogers. A successor for Bethel will be named at a later date.
  • Chris Yang, vice president, Business Development and Deputy General Counsel, TMNA, is promoted to group vice president, Business Development, Deputy General Counsel. In this dual-capped role, Yang will continue to report to Phillips Rogers and Reynolds.

Sales

Changes include a retirement and cascading backfills.

  • Bob Carter, executive vice president, Sales, TMNA, and president, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. (TMS), will retire June 30.
  • Jack Hollis, senior vice president, Automotive Operations, TMNA, will succeed Carter as executive vice president, Sales, TMNA and president, TMS, reporting to Ogawa.
  • Andrew Gilleland, group vice president and general manager, Lexus Division, TMNA, is promoted to senior vice president, Automotive Operations, succeeding Hollis. Gilleland will report to Hollis.
  • Dejuan Ross, vice president, Sales, Toyota Financial Services (TFS), is promoted to group vice president and general manager, Lexus Division, TMNA, reporting to Gilleland.
  • Cooper Ericksen, group vice president, Product Planning and Strategy, TMNA, is promoted to senior vice president, Product, BEV and Mobility Planning and Strategy. Ericksen will report to Hollis.
  • Shawn Domeraki, general manager, Demand and Supply Management, TMNA, is promoted to a new role as vice president, Product and Mobility Planning, reporting to Ericksen.

Research & Development (R&D) and DTM

Changes include retirement and cascading backfills. To streamline functions and leverage greater synergies, as noted above, Information Systems Solutions and Technology is transitioned to Corporate Resources, which includes an expanded global role for Cyber Security.

  • Zack Hicks, chief executive officer and president, Toyota Connected North America (TCNA), executive vice president and chief digital officer, TMNA, will retire effective July 22.
  • Holly Walters, group vice president and chief information officer, Information Systems, TMNA, will report to Reynolds as a result of shifting Information Systems Solutions and Technology to the Corporate Resources pillar.
  • Josh Davis, group vice president and chief cybersecurity officer, TMNA, and senior vice president and chief information security officer, TCNA, adds additional global responsibilities and is named group vice president and chief cybersecurity officer, and senior advisor- global enterprise security, TMC. Davis will continue to report to Walters.
  • Steve Basra, in his dual-capped role as group vice president, Connected Technologies, TMNA, will report to Shinichi Yasui, executive vice president, R&D, TMNA. This change is a result of the Connected Technologies function transitioning to R&D.
  • Charan Lota, vice president, executive chief engineer, Connected Technologies, TMNA, is promoted to group vice president, Connected Technologies. Charan will continue to report to Basra.

Toyota Connected North America (TCNA)

Changes include the retirement of Hicks, as noted above, and cascading backfills. 

  • Steve Basra, in his dual-capped role will succeed Hicks as CEO and president, TCNA, assuming the role of president and CEO, TCNA. Basra will report to chairman of the Board of TCNA.
  • Chris Yang, in his dual-capped role, will add a new responsibility as executive vice president and chief operating officer, TCNA. Yang will join the Board of Directors, TCNA and report to the chairman of the Board, TCNA.
  • Yosuke Tsuruta, vice president, Connected Technologies, TMNA, in his dual-capped role, will add a new assignment as chief administrative officer, TCNA. Tsuruta will join the Board of Directors, TCNA, and report to the chairman of the Board, TCNA.

Product Support

Change includes expanded responsibility.

  • Kevin Austin, vice president, Demand and Supply Management, TMNA, is promoted to group vice president, Demand and Supply Management and Supply Chain Transformation, TMNA, reflecting an expansion of responsibilities to support the company’s electrification initiatives. Austin will continue to report to Keith Robertson, group vice president, Supply Chain Management, TMNA. 

Toyota Motor Corporate (TMC) Executives/Overseas Assignments

  • Naoki Kojima, Treasurer, TMNA, will return to Japan on a new assignment, effective August 1.
  • Masanao Watanabe, Treasurer, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S., is dual-capped and will add Treasurer, TMNA to his responsibilities, succeeding Kojima. Watanabe will report to Ogawa and will be based in Plano, Texas.
  • Kurt Drake, joins the company in a newly created role as vice president, Global Compliance, TMC, reporting to Reynolds and will be based in Plano, Texas.

Toyota Financial Services (TFS)

Changes include enhancing core capabilities, better leveraging shared services to support Private Label business and global operations, and a retirement.

  • Cindy Wang, group vice president, Accounting, Tax and Indirect Procurement Shared Services, TFS, takes on a new role as group vice president, Global Initiatives, TFS. Wang will continue to report to Scott Cooke, senior vice president and CFO, TFS.
  • Karen Ideno, group vice president, Private Label Business, TFS, takes on a new role as group vice president, ESG and Indirect Procurement Shared Services, TFS. Ideno will now report to Cooke.
  • James Schofield, vice president, Finance, Treasury, Competitiveness, Mergers and Acquisitions, TFS, is promoted to group vice president, Finance, Treasury, Competitiveness, Mergers and Acquisitions. Schofield will continue to report to Cooke.
  • Mike Owens, group vice president, chief risk officer, TFS, will retire effective July 15.
  • Kris Pritchard, rejoins TFS as vice president, chief risk officer. Pritchard will report to Mark Templin, president and chief executive officer, TFS.
  • Briana Nelson, general manager, Lexus Eastern Area, TMNA, will succeed Dejuan Ross, and is promoted to vice president, Marketing, TFS. Nelson will report to Alec Hagey, senior vice president and chief operating officer, TFS.

“These changes are designed to support our transformation and growth strategy, enhancing core capabilities to better support our customers, dealers, private label business, and global operations,” said Mark Templin, CEO, TFS. “I’m confident we have the right executive team in place. Each one brings a sense of ownership, passion and expertise that will help further deliver on our goals and results. At the same time, I want to thank Mike Owens for his contributions to TFS and wish him all the best.”    

About Retiring Executives

Bob Carter, executive vice president, Sales, TMNA, and president of TMS

Carter, a 41-year Toyota veteran, began his career with the company as a warranty processor. Since then, he has held a number of sales and marketing positions with the company including senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc., Toyota Logistics Services, Toyota Motor Sales de Mexico, and Toyota de Puerto Rico. He also held the positions of group vice president and general manager of both Toyota and Lexus divisions at TMS.

Throughout his career, Carter has been recognized for many industry honors, including Automotive News 2021 All-Star and most recently, AIADA’s 2022 Fritz Hitchcock Advocacy Achievement Award.

“For over four decades, Bob has been an advocate for our dealers and customers, providing insightful leadership and sound and principled judgment in sales and marketing,” said TMNA CEO Ted Ogawa. Bob leaves a legacy of many “firsts,” including Toyota and Lexus leadership in key segments, dealer satisfaction and profitability, and sales leadership in North America, to name a few. We are grateful for all of Bob’s contributions and wish him the best of luck in his retirement.”

Zack Hicks, chief executive officer and president, Toyota Connected North America (TCNA), executive vice president and chief digital officer, TMNA

Hicks joined Toyota in 1996 and served in a number of leadership roles including, telematics planning manager, corporate manager office of the CIO, vice president, Administration, Toyota Motor Sales CIO, and TMNA CIO. As Toyota’s first chief digital officer, Hicks led the company’s newly created Digital Transformation & Mobility unit, leading shared mobility, connectivity services, over-the-air upgrades and future business opportunities.

As founder, CEO and president of TCNA, Toyota’s AI and Machine Learning, big data company, Hicks led the company’s connected car ecosystem and drove transformational change through cutting edge technology, data and connectivity. Many of the innovations are included in the new 21 Multimedia system. In addition, as founder and chairman of Toyota Connected Europe, Hicks oversaw the London-based startup, which supports the growing adoption of new mobility businesses in Europe with products and services tailored to the unique needs of the market.

Hicks has also been recognized throughout the industry. In 2020 he was awarded Dallas CEO top 500, in 2021 Dallas CIO Leadership Award, 2019 CIO hall of fame, and Dallas Business Journal named him one of the “Most Admired CEOs of 2018 and the same year recognize by academia with the 2018 AIS Leadership Excellence Award.  He also received Pepperdine’s “Distinguished Alumnus Award” along with Innovator of the Year award from D-CEO magazine.

“Zack has been a transformational leader with invaluable experience, expertise and creativity,” said Ted Ogawa, CEO TMNA. “He has contributed significantly to Toyota’s success, including leading the development of our new multimedia systems and unlocking the power of data for Toyota. He also quickly solved digital needs for remote work for our North American team members during the pandemic, and ushered in a new generation of connected technologies that enhance the customer experience.” 

Tracey Doi, group vice president and chief financial officer, TMNA

Doi joined Toyota in 2000 and served in many finance and accounting positions, including vice president and corporate controller, and most recently as group vice president and chief financial officer. As an executive member of the North American Management Committee, Doi set strategy and drove company initiatives to increase competitiveness as a global industry leader. Doi has been honored three times by Automotive News as one of the Top 100 Women in the automotive industry, recognized by D CEO as the Outstanding CFO for large public companies and one of the Top 500 most influential business leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth. In addition, in 2021, she was the recipient of the Texas Women’s Foundation’s “Maura Women Helping Women Award” and Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics’ 2020 Leadership Award.

“Tracey has been an innovative, inspirational and valued member of Toyota’s leadership team,” said Chris Reynolds, executive vice president, Corporate Resources, TMNA. “Her unswerving dedication to our company and team members, as well as her focus on financial fundamentals helped Toyota maintain its competitiveness in North America while ensuring a strong value proposition for our customers. Her legacy also includes many talented team members who have benefited from her mentorship and sponsorship.”

Mike Owens, group vice president and chief risk officer, TFS 

Over the course of his 20 years with Toyota, Owens held a number of leadership roles which helped to strengthen and expand the company’s risk management and analytical capabilities. His experience in credit analysis, risk management, account management, and business development across the auto, home mortgage, commercial, and credit card lines of business were instrumental in supporting the growth of Toyota Financial Services and Toyota Financial Savings Bank (TFSB). His broad responsibilities have included overseeing TFS’ international affiliates in the Americas Oceania region and serving as chairman of the board of directors for TFSB. Earlier in his career at TFS, Owens oversaw the company’s dealer financing portfolio, managing lending relationships with its largest dealer groups, and developing and implementing strategic initiatives to increase dealer financing. Owens deployed sophisticated risk management capabilities, which will benefit TFS in the years to come.

This news comes shortly after Toyota's announcement of continued production suspensions.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet

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