PLANO, Texas (December 11, 2019) – Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) today announced executive leadership changes designed to sustain its automotive operations and to continue its transformation in the mobility space.
Effective April 1, 2020, Jim Lentz, chief executive officer TMNA, will retire after 38 years with the company. Tetsuo “Ted” Ogawa, chief operating officer TMNA, will succeed Lentz as CEO, reporting to Didier Leroy, TMNA Vice Chairman and president of business planning and operations, Toyota Motor Corporation.
“Jim Lentz has had an incredible impact on our company. He has been an outstanding leader and was instrumental in restructuring the company and bringing together our North American region. He deserves a lot of credit for all he has accomplished in his many roles around the globe and he will be greatly missed,” said Ogawa. “He leaves a legacy that helped build a stronger, more unified Toyota that is prepared to face the future of mobility, and I am humbled and excited to continue working with the Toyota leadership team to create an even more dynamic and vibrant company.”
In his 38-year career, Lentz has led and contributed to a number of key milestones and great moments in Toyota’s history, including:
- Launching the Scion brand in order to capture next-generation customers by experimenting with innovative products and services. After completing its purpose, Scion was eventually folded into the Toyota brand.
- Forging stronger relationships with Toyota and Lexus dealers and financial services partners.
- Toyota and Lexus brands being recognized as leaders by consistently providing the best customer experience in the industry.
- Serving as a positive voice for the importance of the Auto Industry in the U.S. and helping to champion the merger of the industry’s trade associations.
- Successfully navigating the company through several significant challenges, such as: Quality crisis issues, the great earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and one of the worst recessions in U.S. history.
- And, importantly, consolidating and restructuring the company’s North American operations and rallying our team members to become, “One Toyota.” This endeavor helped the company better serve its customers, make quicker decisions and foster a culture of collaboration across the enterprise. The company is now leveraging the combined strength of its team members to continue achieving sustainable, long-term growth.
“After finalizing our One Toyota consolidation and laying the groundwork for the future of mobility, now is the time for a new leadership team to take the next steps to help further transform Toyota,” said Lentz. “Tetsuo Ogawa, along with our executive leadership team, are all part of a deep bench with a proven track record of delivering results and a relentless focus on our customers. I’m confident the future of Toyota is in good hands with these leaders and our 40,000 North American team members.”
Ogawa will focus on further transforming Toyota into a mobility company to better serve its customers, in and beyond the automotive realm. This transformation includes modernizing TMNA’s automotive operations to improve efficiency and speed, strengthening operational execution and leading the company’s transition into new areas of mobility.
Prior to his current role as COO and operating officer, Toyota Motor Corporation, Ogawa was executive vice president and chief administrative officer, TMNA. After joining Toyota in 1984, Ogawa’s roles included deputy chief executive officer, China Region, president of Toyota Motor China Investment Company, Ltd., and serving as an expatriate from Japan at Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, California.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 38 million cars and trucks in North America, where we have 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama (10 in the U.S.), and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold 2.8 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018.
Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.