Toyota Announces Executive Changes in North America, Diversifies Global Leadership Team with New Appointments

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Plano, Texas, March 4, 2015 Toyota today announced executive changes across its North American operations, effective as of April 1.
The appointments reflect Toyota’s ongoing efforts to diversify its global leadership team and leverage talent from its biggest, most experienced market as it continues to evolve as a global, customer-focused company.  Toyota is also further strengthening regional integration in North America so it can respond more quickly and effectively to its customers’ needs.
Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), said: “Bringing together an experienced and diverse team of executives with fresh perspectives, unique regional insights and a global mindset will help us better serve customers around the world.  Our new appointments also put in place a broader base of support for North America CEO Jim Lentz as he continues to build upon the strong momentum he has achieved with dealers and customers in this key market.”
In April 2014, Toyota announced it is establishing a single, state-of-the-art headquarters in Plano, Texas for its North American manufacturing, sales and marketing, and corporate operations.  Toyota Motor North America or “TMNA” is the new designation of Toyota’s North American operating entity headquartered there.
The changes announced today include:
James (Jim) Lentz, senior managing officer, TMC, chief executive officer of Toyota’s North America Region, and president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA), adds to his title president, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc. (TEMA). 
Osamu “Simon” Nagata, managing officer, TMC, and chief executive officer and president of TEMA, is named senior managing officer, TMC; executive vice president, TMA; and chief administrative officer of TMNA.  In this new role, Nagata will be responsible for the “One Toyota” initiative encompassing Toyota’s transition to a single North American headquarters and related collaboration and integration efforts.  To this end, Nagata will manage on a cross-affiliate basis all North American corporate staffs.  He is based in Plano, Texas, reporting to Lentz.
Julie Hamp, chief communications officer of Toyota’s North America Region, will become managing officer and chief communications officer, TMC, and the first woman named to these positions globally.  Based in Tokyo, Japan, Hamp will lead Toyota’s global communications efforts, with responsibility for public affairs and overseas external affairs.  She will report to Shigeru Hayakawa, senior managing officer, TMC.
Christopher (Chris) P. Reynolds, general counsel and chief legal officer, TMA, and group vice president, corporate secretary, chief environmental officer and chief compliance officer, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS), is named managing officer and appointed to the newly created position of general counsel and chief legal officer, TMC.  Reynolds becomes the first African-American named to these positions globally. He will maintain offices in Torrance, Calif. and Toyota City, Japan and, eventually, Plano, Texas once Toyota’s new headquarters there is completed.  He will report to Shigeki Terashi, senior managing officer, TMC, and Tatsuro Ueda, managing officer, TMC.
Osamu Ushio, currently senior vice president for manufacturing, TEMA, responsible for all vehicle assembly plants in North America, and corporate advisor, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK), is named executive vice president of TEMA, with responsibility for all TEMA operations and North American manufacturing, including all assembly and unit plants, reporting to Lentz.
Seiya Nakao, president, Toyota Technical Center (TTC), and executive vice president, TEMA, with responsibility for all North American engineering and R&D operations, will now report to Lentz.
Sandra Phillips, vice president and deputy general counsel, TMS, is named general counsel and chief legal officer, TMNA.  Phillips, the first African-American woman named to this position, will be responsible for legal operations, legal technology and coordinating the representation of Toyota’s affiliates in North America. 
Scott Vazin, vice president of corporate and regional communications, TMA, is named chief communications officer, TMNA, responsible for marketing, product and brand communications for the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands; corporate reputation; stakeholder engagement; investor relations;  sales, marketing and manufacturing communications; and corporate advertising. 
Réal (Ray) Tanguay, chairman, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) and Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI), and president, Canadian Autoparts Toyota Inc. (CAPTIN), will retire after 24 years with Toyota, effective March 31, 2015.  Tanguay will become an executive advisor for TMMC. Al Hossack, vice president, CAPTIN, will become president, CAPTIN.
Commenting on the appointments, Lentz said, “These are well thought out, carefully considered changes that will better position Toyota for sustainable, long-term growth both in North America and globally.  Chris Reynolds and Julie Hamp have made incredible contributions to our North American operations, and we are fortunate to have them now supporting Toyota’s growth and success at the global level.  At the same time, we will all benefit from the leadership of Simon Nagata and others as we put in place our new executive team and leadership structure for One Toyota in North America.”
Details on TMC’s global announcement can be found at
Biographies of key executives follow.

Executive Biographies

James Lentz: Prior to his appointment as Toyota’s chief executive officer North America region in March 2013, Lentz was president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. as well as a member of the company’s board of directors.  He also was senior vice president of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA), the holding company for Toyota's North American sales, engineering and manufacturing operating units.  Additionally, Lentz served in a global advisory capacity as managing officer for the parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in Japan.  In these roles, Lentz was responsible for all North American sales, marketing, product planning, corporate planning and corporate affairs as well as distribution for Toyota, Scion and Lexus products in the United States. Lentz joined Toyota in 1982 and has held various positions in the Portland, Central Atlantic, San Francisco and Los Angeles sales regions, including general manager of the San Francisco and Los Angeles regions.  His experience at TMS headquarters in Torrance, Calif., includes field training, sales administration and truck sales, and vice president of Scion, responsible for the initial launch of a new line of vehicles for the next generation of new-car buyers.  Lentz has also served as group vice president of marketing, Toyota Division, chief operating officer and executive vice president of TMS.  He is immediate past chairman and member of the board of the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers.

Osamu Nagata: Nagata joined TMC in April 1980 after earning his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Tokyo.  In 2000, he was transferred to Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc., the predecessor of TEMA, where he served as vice president in charge of purchasing.  In 2007, he was named general manager of the administrative division of Toyota’s Miyoshi manufacturing plant.  In 2009, he became a managing officer at TMC and also served as the plant manager for the Miyoshi and Tahara manufacturing facilities.  In April 2011, he was named deputy chief officer of TMC’s External Affairs Group, and in March of 2013 he was named chief executive officer and president of TEMA.

Julie Hamp: Prior to joining Toyota, Hamp was chief communications officer and senior vice president, communications and consumer relations for PepsiCo, where she also served as a member of the company’s executive council and foundation board of directors.  Before joining PepsiCo, Hamp was vice president, communications for General Motors’ European region and a member of both the GME and GM corporate communications strategy boards.  She was responsible for media relations, brand publicity and corporate communications for Saab, Opel, Vauxhall and Chevrolet, partnering with GM leaders in 27 countries.  Previously at GM, Hamp served as general director of communications for the Latin America, Africa and Middle East Region; general director for sales, service and marketing communications in North America; and vice president of communications for Saturn.  A native of Queens, NY, Hamp holds a B.S. in Communications from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., and her post-graduate studies include participation in the GM-Harvard Business School’s Executive Development Program with an emphasis on Asian studies.  She currently represents Toyota on the board of the Ad Council and is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Arthur W. Page Society. 

Christopher P. Reynolds:  Before joining Toyota in 2007, Reynolds was a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in New York City, where he ran the firm’s employment law practice and chaired its firm-wide diversity committee. Earlier, Reynolds served as an assistant United States attorney in New York City, an associate attorney at the law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, and as a law clerk for Judge Damon J. Keith, U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit.  Reynolds is a member of the American Bar Association and serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Urban League, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Lincoln Family Life Center. Raised in Detroit and educated in its public schools, Reynolds earned his bachelor's degree in political science with honors at Kalamazoo College, where he currently serves as a trustee. A Harry S. Truman Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa, Reynolds received his law degree from Harvard Law School.  

Osamu Ushio: Since joining Toyota in 1985, Ushio’s primary areas of responsibility have included manufacturing and production engineering.  Prior to being named Corporate Advisor for TMMK in July 2010, he served as TMMK’s senior vice president of manufacturing, as well as senior advisor of strategic business management and senior advisor to Toyota’s North American Production Support Center. In addition to several leadership roles at TMMK, Ushio spent two years in the general assembly division of Toyota’s Tsutsumi plant in Japan.

Seiya Nakao: Nakao joined TMC in 1978 in the Chassis Engineering Division, where he worked as a chassis engineer on front suspension design before moving to the Prototype Engineering Division.  In 1995, Nakao moved to TTC’s Prototype Lab in Plymouth, Mich., where he served as department coordinator managing TTC’s prototype development activities as well as executive engineer in charge of product planning for the Tacoma and Sienna programs. In 1999, he returned to TMC and was assigned as chief engineer for the Lexus ES300, followed by the European Corolla. In 2005, Nakao returned to TTC as the executive chief engineer for the Avalon, Sienna and Camry Solara programs.  In 2008, he returned to TMC but came back to TTC in 2011 as senior vice president responsible for directing all R&D operations.  In 2012, he was named president of TTC. Nakao studied mechanical engineering, earning a bachelor of engineering degree from Doshisha University in 1978.

Sandra Phillips: Since joining TMS in 2012, Phillips has played a key role in overseeing complex legal matters and building an integrated North American legal services group, Toyota Legal One (“TL1”).  Prior to joining Toyota, Phillips was a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Houston, Texas, where her practice focused on complex litigation management and strategy.  Earlier, she was senior vice president and associate general counsel, chief litigation counsel at Pfizer Inc., and managing partner of the Houston office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP.  In addition, she is a founding member of the University of Texas Center for Women in Law, and a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, the International Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute (DRI).  She is the first recipient of the DRI Diversity Pioneer Award.  Phillips earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a law degree, both at the University of Texas at Austin.

Scott Vazin: Before joining TMA in 2014, Vazin was executive vice president of group communications for Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. In this role, Vazin was responsible for all aspects of corporate communications for the Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Brand, including corporate media relations, product communications, public relations campaigns, internal communications, community partnerships and philanthropy.  Prior to joining Volkswagen of America, Vazin was director of product and consumer communications for Nissan and Infiniti. He also held a variety of other key communications positions, including serving as general manager, corporate and product communications for Nissan Europe.  He started his automotive career at Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America in 1990, where he held accounting and product planning positions.  Vazin received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing from California State University at Long Beach.

Réal (Ray) Tanguay: Tanguay joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC), in 1991, as a general manager in charge of General Affairs, Information Systems and Environmental Affairs. He became vice president in 1993, senior vice president in 2000, and president in 2002, and finally, chairman of TMMC in 2010. In June 2005, Tanguay also became a managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in Japan and in April of 2011, he was promoted to senior managing officer of TMC and took on additional responsibilities as senior vice president of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA).

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.67 million cars and trucks (more than 2.35 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. 

Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment.  As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good.  For more information about Toyota, visit


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